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Democratic National Convention

Series/Special. (2012) The 2012 Democratic National Convention from Charlotte, N.C. (CC) (Stereo)

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04:00:00

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Annapolis, MD, USA

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mpeg2video

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mp2

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720

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480

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Clinton 120, Bill Clinton 60, Us 41, Barack Obama 30, Joe Biden 25, Ohio 23, America 22, Washington 16, Charlotte 16, United States 15, Rachel 15, Hawaii 14, Chris Matthews 13, Msnbc 13, Massachusetts 12, Obama 11, Michelle 11, Elizabeth Warren 11, Virginia 9, Obama Administration 8,
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  MSNBC    Democratic National Convention    Series/Special.  (2012) The 2012 Democratic  
   National Convention from Charlotte, N.C. (CC) (Stereo)  

    September 6, 2012
    1:00 - 5:00am EDT  

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this is msnbc's continuing coverage of the democratic national convention. i want to bring in my colleagues on the set. steve schmidt, as a political professional on the other side of this for the republicans in 2008, how was this speech? >> well, it was extraordinary, virtuoso political performance. there's no other politician in america in the last generation that could hold the attention of a crowd, have them yelling and screaming, speaking for three-quarters of an hour. i mean, i wish to god as a republican we had someone on our side who had the ability to do that. we don't.
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it would be great if we did. just an amazing performance. struck by the political almost genius of how he embraced the bush family and george w. bush for the purposes of marginalizing house republicans and pushing them to the extreme. it was a devastating critique, but it was delivered with an absence of malice or anger, smile on his face, logic aimed squarely at the middle of the electorate where he's so popular. very powerful endorsement for president obama, another good night for them. >> affable, effective, as a democrat, it doesn't get any better. i'm sitting here, i'm giddy, i mean, this is exactly what barack obama needed. mending fences, bringing people together, understanding the facts. and i liked the way president clinton talked about the universe the republicans have
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painted president obama in, that they are not in reality, they are not in the real world. he even used the word "hate," and i'm glad he addressed this tonight, because you have to understand the climate before you can have the healing, and he also talked about a dysfunctional washington saying it doesn't have to be a blood sport and documented the kinds of things that he worked on with republicans and really in a roundabout way, gave the country hope that we can get together and we should be and it's a responsibility for elected officials to get to the point where they can work together. so, and, of course, he talked about philosophy, which i think is important about owning your own, you know, philosophy of owning your own health care, owning your own retirement and taking those risks. gosh, i just think president clinton did barack obama the biggest favor he could have done, and i think this is going to give him the bounce. >> chuck todd in charlotte right now. in part, i want to hear from chuck, but i also want us to
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appreciate there's something going on. chuck, the roll call happening right now, which is actually the nomination of the president, is that right? >> yes, it is the roll call, they are going to go through. i'm told that, let's see, the president's last name begins with the letter "o," the state that's likely to put him over the top begins with the letter "o," last i heard there's a state in the battleground that's high on the middle and rounds on the ends, so that would be the state you would look for to see as you're watching. so as we're tuning in and out, we'll look very much there, but i want to make one clinton comment. just so you know, terry is going to be making the rounds, we're going to get him up here, but if you think about the partisan wars of the '90s, the fact that bill clinton is now the democratic party's best person to talk to independent voters, it just shows you that, you know, everything -- everything can come around and become new
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again. it is amazing when you think back of what '97 to '99 was like in american politics. as polarized, frankly, as we are today, and it's that president that is now the guy that can probably speak better to independent voters than any national leader in any party. >> that's right, and on the point ed was making talking about democracy not being a blood sport, that was a riff when president obama talked about the partnership between hillary clinton and barack obama, showing that democracy does not have to be a blood sport, it can be an honorable enterprise, taking hillary's supporters into the cabinet, picking hillary herself, talking about even within the democratic party, there being a sort of bridge of respectful willingness to work together. that was the way he broadened it out from talking about working with republicans. >> reporter: think about who could be bitter. he could be a very bitter person. there's a lot of people who think he never got his full
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second term. he could be very bitter, and he's chosen to go a different route. >> i think also, what was striking is it was the first real sustained mention, articulation, excavation of the record of the house republican caucus and the obstruction and the fact that has been the defining feature of the republican party, and in some ways i think it was masterful politically. the one big implicit opening in that is why will things be different? what will change now? what are we looking at if we reelect president obama and we get john boehner again, right? it's an incredibly useful tool to remind the electorate of how extreme the house republican caucus is, how single minded they've been in defeating the president, but when you think about what the next term looks like, that's where the argument begins to lose its steam. >> they are making the case, look at what the republicans stand for. you can see it in the congressional republicans, vote for democrats, vote against
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that. they are making the all-ticket argument. >> they are going for the whole ticket, but i think rather than roman romanticize, the reason i think it was masterful and i have agreed and disagreed with president clinton is he had a unique credibility, one because he had gone through this polarized kind of climate himself, so he can identify with president obama's unfairly doing and because he went through a contentious primary with his own wife and president obama. so let's not act like he desc d descended from heaven and made this speech. he came up from hell and made this speech as a survival of an internal party hell that he was part of and caused some of and what he did with the party. then he talked about cooperation and how president obama believes in cooperation, even appointed his enemies, lincoln-esque, then
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he methodically took down everything from pell grants to medicaid to medicare to voter i.d., after he called for cooperation. but let me tell you what they stand for, not bad guys want to work with them, the bushes helped me all over the world, but what they are doing is wrong. it was methodical. the only thing the president has to do tomorrow night is come on and inspire, because the case has been laid out, signed, sealed, and delivered, elvis and bubba showed up tonight. >> also a variety of policy points that have been totally absent from the campaign. what he said about medicaid, they want to cut medicaid by a third, and remember, two-thirds of medicaid spending is going to seniors in nursing home and middle class kids on disability. we don't talk about the medicaid stuff, it's been about medicare, that's a devastating, devastating critique, because it's, a, true, and it has been absent from the entire political discussion. >> i think the fact that his wife, hillary clinton, tried so hard to do something in his
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first term with health care and was not successful, i think president clinton certainly appreciates what has been accomplished. that was about the best presentation i have ever seen on exactly what this health care bill is doing and will do for america, capsulized in a speech. i thought it was very compelling and clinton had that arkansas way about him tonight. you think think what you want about me, i'm just going to tell you how it is. it was very appealing. >> called himself that. >> it did make the room feel very small, it has to be said. >> just the emotion. the women were just connected. i noticed that. we kept taking shots of the emotions of the people in the crowd. he was moving. again, i'll tell you what, one thing's for sure, the democrats have definitely got the republicans beat on the quality of speakers. it's not even close.
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>> let's bring in lawrence o'donnell, lawrence, tell us your experience of the speech, what you saw there. >> reporter: rachel, i think one of the concerns the obama team has to have is what was the effect of the speech outside of this hall, where it went more than a half hour longer than it was scheduled to go. it was one of those clinton tests of a television audience attention span. he used to do this sometimes with state of the union addresses that many of us thought went too long, but then, on bill clinton's longest state of the union address when the pundit opinion was unanimous that it had gone far too long and he had lost the audience, he got his biggest poll jump ever from a state of the union address which was the longest one he ever gave. >> we've got -- and tonight we have the competing elements, right, of when the networks are going to be taking the feed. supposedly 10:00 to 11:00, and it's supposedly, therefore, very important. sandra fluke and elizabeth
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warren were both speaking before bill clinton in the 10:00 hour. he went so beyond 10:00, several of the networks didn't take sandra flick and warren. sort of threw all the rules out the window, didn't it? >> reporter: he did, and as we could see here on the teleprompter and anyone who had the prepared text could see, he was running away from the prepared text constantly. it was a constant challenge, i think, for the prompter operator to keep up, because he would just go off in these riffs that clearly were not anything that were anticipated by the speech writing teams here that can try to control the time on the podium. they completely lost control of his time. probably within the first five minutes of what he was doing, and it was remarkable to watch, but it's also what made the speech work, rachel. when you were reading along the prompter and you saw what he did to it, that was where the magic of the speech was. that's how he improved that speech beyond what was written
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for him. >> let me bring chris matthews back into this discussion. chris, when you were hearing the arguments laid out by president clinton, were you hearing him augment the existing message of the obama campaign or was he running his own clinton or obama campaign? >> well, i thought it's as if bill clinton was the best staffer president obama has, because he went out and got the numbers. he really did the arithmetic in a way i thought the president and none of the people around the president has to do. arithmetic is a good word, by the way, reminds us of grade school, elementary school. when you talk about how bill clinton balanced the budget and held the debt down and actually reduced the national debt during his second term, you have to wonder all he did was look at spending and revenue and did the logical choices, whereas w. came in and did the opposite. starting a couple of wars, cutting taxes, going wrong-way
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car in both directions of revenue and spending. so it seems so logical when bill talks, then to bring up the history of the democratic party and job production, 42 million versus 20-some million on the republican side. saying the democratic brand is pretty good. there's an old line if you want to live like a republican, vote like a democrat, and i think bill clinton handled that very well tonight. he also summed it up. he said, you know, it all comes down to what kind of a country do you want to live in, and i think he did reach for the center tonight. bill clinton, as someone said, i think it was you, rachel, he's a man of the center and i think he brought it home tonight. this crowd here loved him. look at this crowd. this crowd behind me. this is the alternate universe for us. these people don't have tickets and credentials, but they are with us all the way, rachel. >> chris, two things about that crowd behind you. first of all, if you disappear, we're going to assume you've
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been crowd surfed somewhere. i'm sure it will be fun. i wonder if that makes you feel differently about how big a price the democrats are paying for not having their giant, giant stadium to fit all these people into it tomorrow night. do you feel like they are actually having a big sacrifice there because they are going to take the smaller venue? >> i have to tell you about the people wanting to get in and won't be able to, but there's a rule of advance, get a small room and pack it to the ceiling. nothing wrong with people waiting outside. it's made hard rock cafe a success all these years. there's nothing like a line outside to advise how hot it is and great it is inside. these people want to get in, but i think they had to be careful about safety, they really did. >> one of the lines from the clinton speech that i feel like we keep coming back to is the part where he talked about, used the word "hate." though i often disagree with republicans, and i'm reading from his prepared remarks, but the nut of it was, though i
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often disagree with republicans, i never learn to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate president obama and the democrats. the reason that is so striking is because of what it was like in the '90s under the clinton administration with the impeachment crusade, with the type of partisan warfare directed, not only against president obama, but against hillary clinton. and a lot of democrats who more than anything wanted to win in 2008 argued that hillary clinton would not be a good choice because the partisan machine that was tuned against both her and her husband would never let up and we would have another four years or eight years of a country that was completely wrenched in partisan warfare against the clintons. and here he is saying i never hated anybody. never hated anybody the way these people hate. >> even after all he went through with the clinton global initiative, he's never carried a chip on his shoulder. he's gone to resourceful people and never asked whether republican or democrat, as he
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said tonight, and he's raised billions of dollars. it's just amazing what he's done. there isn't anybody that walks the face of the earth, very few, that have had the life experiences of bill clinton. if you think about where he's been around the world and the ambassador that he has been for the united states and the things that he's done for humanity, what a credible voice tonight. what a credible voice. as much as he has been through, as much as he was targeted, he can speak from experience and say i never hated those guys. i wanted to get something done, and he did. i thought he spoke very well to the economy tonight too. he made the case about the philosophy of success, about, you know, wealthy people doing a little bit more because they can. i mean, i thought he had a great -- >> i think before you lead the hate part, because he talked about people proud of being -- their kids being born in america, which referred to this is a deeper and different kind
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of hate. they hated hillary clinton for what she wanted to do. they hated him for what they wanted to do. they hate president obama because of what he wants to do and because of what he is. that's what he was eluding to. which was a different hate than bill clinton. they never asked bill clinton for his birth certificate. so he understands the levels of hate here. as much as they fought hillary and him, they never asked him for their birth certificates, so let's not act like this is normal partisan hate. >> he singled it out in the way he phrased it, a part of the republican party hates this president. he's not saying i never hated them or they hated me. >> one of the remarkable things about it was his use of the word "cooperation." if you go to focus groups, you look at surveys of what moves independent voters, ticket-splitting voters. they want cooperation in washington. when they go to soccer games on the weekend, they don't look at the other parents there and make evaluations, is that one a
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democrat or a republican or an independent. it's not how people in the real world relate to each other. 25 years after his first keynote address at a democratic convention, he was able to position himself as the outsider and explain the dysfunction of what's going on in washington to the country, i think, in a very, very effective way. and i just think it was a remarkable performance on that front. >> the problem with cooperation, as a message that you give to the electorate, is it cannot be imposed unilaterally. you cannot promise out to the electorate i will come and create cooperation, because cooperation is, by its nature, something the two different sides do. so the problem that the president has faced is much of the appeal in 2008, and, of course, going back to the 2004 keynote, was about reaching across the aisle. it was this dream of a vision of what politics would look like if they weren't mired in the partisanship that defined that political moment, but he was
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incapable of producing that cooperation. >> that's the leap that clinton made in this speech. one half, second half. first half is we need to cooperate and barack obama is a guy who cooperates. the second half is, the other side is not cooperating, therefore, they are the problem. it's a speech not about partisanship that has a incredibly partisan message, which is saying vote democratic down the line because what's wrong with the republican party is they don't have the country's best interest at heart. they have something wrong with them as a party. i don't hate people because they are republicans, but there's something wrong with republican-ism now. that's a case liberals like me have been telling the obama administration to make to the country that they have not been interested in making and president clinton made it tonight more brutally than we could expect it. >> partly because he has this third party status.
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he is not one of the people in the negotiations. >> the role call is continuing on the convention floor right now, which is a weird but maybe sort of genius sort of staging and scheduling. this was a slow-burn night at the convention where there was not a whole lot of enthusiasm at the beginning, but there was at the end. they capitalized on that by bringing out president obama for the applause for president clinton and then turning that into the actual nomination, the state-by-state roll call nominating president obama for a second term. the state of hawaii, hawaii? hawaii here giving him their votes. >> we say aloha! madam secretary, the state of hawaii, the aloha state, in memory of the president's mother and father, cast 31 votes for our child of the islands, president barack obama. >> thank you, governor.
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are we better off because president obama fought for health care reform? you bet we are. >> msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national convention in charlotte continues. chuck todd joins us from inside the convention hall and he is with terry mcauliffe. chairman of hillary clinton's '08 campaign. the co-chair of her husband's '96 campaign and long time friend of both clintons. chuck? >> thank you, rachel. terry mcauliffe, you were just telling me off camera how long the president was working on this speech. give me a little insight on that.
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>> for the last month, i went and spent a couple days on vacation with him. i would like to say you go on vacation with the clintons, it's different than most vacations. people sit on the beach, it is a policy seminar with him. as soon as president obama asked him to do this, that burden, he felt like he was lifting the world. this was his responsibility. and i think he knocked it out of the park. took all these very big tough issues. got it down and made people understand, this is a real choice election. >> is it a little surreal, i'll admit it is a little surreal for me covering the partisan wars of the '90s that the democratic party, perhaps the best spokesperson independents to the middle is bill clinton. >> if you remember, you and i lived through the '90s. those were tough time. they were after the president from the day he went into office. as you remember, i think it was always the president clinton's positive outlook, focusing on the economy. that's why he was such a great spokesman here today. there was a clear choice. he said listen, the republicans
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in tampa, they got us into this mess. the best argument, is, oh, okay. president obama hasn't fixed all of it fast enough so get rid of him but we're the guys who created it. not a great argument and i think president clinton took all those issues to say what president obama has done and what he will do in the next four years. health care. he took on the tough issues. you took on defense, job creation, he created a real choice. you want to go that way or the way of president obama? when you walked out of here or on television, this was a simple decision. >> describe the relationship between president obama and president clinton has evolved. >> in the press -- listen, we went through a tough campaign in '08. ran, his wife was running for president of the united states. we got done with that. once the election was over, we had to move on. it was about the united states of america. and as you know, i had president obama and president clinton --
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>> you just skipped over a couple of years. did it take the first couple years of the obama term for the two of them to become -- develop a working relationship? >> i always think when a new president comes in, all former presidents just generally, stay back. let the new president get in. pick his team. you know that. that's just natural. and then over time, it evolved. they spent time together. they were golfing. i spent an hour with the two of them in my home. great warm feeling. talked sports. talked politics. they're different generations, different folks. they get along. and bill clinton will do anything he can to make sure that president obama is reelected. you could tell that tonight. he was into this speech. he talked about what president obama has accomplished, and that we need president obama for four more years. you could feel that. that was in his heart talking tonight and i can tell you, having talked to the president for a lot, president clinton through this, he believed it. he worked hard on tonight. >> have you ever listened to a bill clinton speech and said oh-oh, he might be going too long.
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>> i don't because i enjoy it. i think one thing you saw president clinton had a great time doing it. >> he speem -- seemed to enjoy it. >> he really enjoyed it. but you don't think it is going long because he kept hitting issue after issue. had people laughing, people almost crying. so he just makes it a great speech. nobody can distill these big issues down and get them into that living room like bill clinton can do. >> there was one issue, we haven't heard on the campaign trail a lot. that he brought up tonight. that was medicaid cuts. has this been an issue he's been trying to get the obama administration to talk about more? >> first when you ask president clinton to give a speech, he is going to talk about what he thinks is important. he's been in contact. he talks about medicaid cuts and this is a big deal for president clinton. these cuts to the people most in need in america today. and i think laying it out there the way he did i think was important for the campaign and for the next 60 plus days, i think you'll hear a lot more about it. but medicaid, medicare. he talk about all those issues.
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very complex issues and distilled it down. and i think you walked away tonight saying bill clinton has a real fondness for president obama, but more importantly, president clinton believes that this nation needs barack obama for four more years. >> is he going to be on the campaign trail? >> he is. >> where does he go next? >> he will do anything the obama campaign asks him to do. if they gave him a schedule tomorrow for the next 65 days, chuck, you know it. >> what three states would you send him to? >> i think clearly, virginia, obviously key. we win ohio, virginia, i feel very good about the 270 electoral votes. but he is very popular in florida. obviously, here, they love him in north carolina. for me, i would do a florida and ohio and a virginia, i think, are very important. >> all right. thank you very much. rachel, right back at you. >> thank you, chuck, i appreciate it. c-span just put out a graphic about the various lengths of different bill clinton speeches
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at democratic conventions. the longest one was '96. second longest one was 1992. third longest one was tonight. but he was close in 2000. he went 40 minutes in 2000. 48 minutes tonight. the substance of what president clinton was talking about tonight was, he was going after the republican critique of president obama. but then he really did a broad-based critique of republican economic policies, contrasting it with his own. his own record. president clinton reminding the world that his administration raised taxes, grew the economy, balanced the budget and made a national surplus over what had been the national debt. actively trying to downer with his own record charging that president obama would damage the economy by getting rid of the bush tax cuts. >> people ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets in a row. what new ideas did we bring to washington. i always give a one-word answer. arithmetic.
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arithmetic. >> doesn't that word make you want to hear from ezra klein about whatever arithmetic is being applied to? what do you think about the case he made about his own record on the economy and debt and taxes? >> a 48-minute policy speech is sort of speaking my language. when he says arithmetic, he is meaning a particular part of it. what he is there to do, a particular missile for the obama campaign on is the plus sign in arithmetic. his argument is the republicans have before him and after him, they only focus on the minus. they only focus on what you can cut from the budget if they, indeed, do cut that. under his tenure as president, they added taxes. two things happened when that occurred. that are really tough for republicans to explain away. one, of course, is that the tax increases helped balance the budget.
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but the other one, and this is actually a bigger deal, is that we had a fast-growing economy. the years of bill clinton were one of the best economies we've had on record in the 20th century. in fact, if you just generally look at when we have had fast growing economies in american politics, it has been when we've had fairly high marginal tax rates. the lyndon johnson economy, the kennedy economy. we've had tax rates as high as 70, 80, 90% and had much faster growth than under george w. bush when it went down to 35%, the tax rate. that doesn't mean the tax rates lead to that fast growth. what it does mean is they don't derail it and they tend to help with the broad effort of balancing the budget. which, of course, helps to some degree to getting the economy back on track. one more point on what he said. steve schmidt made the point that republicans have not been able to find somebody on their side that is able to construct a speech like this. a 45-minute policy speech that makes a detailed, substantive case for their actual record of
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their policies going forward. what was striking to me about tonight, paul ryan was supposed to be that guy for them. that was how he came up in republican politics. that's what they saw in him. and he wasn't dispatched to do that at the republican national convention. the democratic convention, they've dispatched clinton to do that. and my understanding of obama's speech tomorrow is that it will be very, very policy centric. you've seen a real reliance from policy from the democrats at this convention. it was simply not matched by the republicans. the democrats saw it as an opening they could define what the way forward was. with clinton in particular, they took it. >> i think we saw that tonight in both of the big speeches tonight. both from clinton and from elizabeth warren who also did a lot of specific policy talking in her speech while getting a huge response from the crowd. one other thing i wanted to ask you about, ezra, one of the earliest numbered points president clinton made tonight. he did a series of jobs scores. the first he did, he said, since 1961, democrats have held the white house for 24 years and the
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republicans have held the white house for 28 years. but since 1961, those 52 years all together, our economy produced 66 million private sector jobs. and he said the jobs score on that is that republicans produced 24 million and the democrats produced 42 million. when you hear him make big raw partisan attributions for the jobs numbers, do you think that it is conceivable that those numbers are at all attributable to ideological policy choices or are those things defined so much more in the big terms by other factors that you can't really attribute to either party? >> at all attributable, definitely. but i tend to be careful with things like. that i've seen analysis where you say, start the clock a year the president come to office. there's reasons to do that, their policies don't take effect immediately, you don't see the change. it is no doubt the case that the raw number there is correct. but whether or not it is because the democratic presidents have had better luck when they came in in the business cycle because democratic presidents just happened to start the clock at the right moment. that's what makes me a little
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bit nervous about those numbers. what i think is undeniable here is that there are basic fundamental economic policy measures they have taken that have contributed in important ways to both good economies and balanced budgets. and in particular, the tax side of it that clinton was bringing forward there. we have seen and this is undeniable. larger deficits in recent years from republican policies particularly due to the bush tax cuts but also the reagan tax cuts led to large structural deficits. you've seen efforts to get away from that under democratic presidents. and even barack obama, due to the financial crisis, made a point of paying for his health care bill and proposing higher taxes on the rich in order to close the deficit. so that part of it can be attributed to democratic policies. >> so when president clinton said that republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before i took office and doubled it after i left, after he was
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bragging about turning the deficit into a surplus. that's fiscal policy that he is telling the truth on that you feel less shy about. >> that's true. we got a graph and i showed at this time other day through this layer cake graph where you can see the bush administration. about a quarter of it is attributable to the bush tax cuts. in the next decade, that is going to get even larger. those bush tax cuts keep getting bigger while the wars in iraq and afghanistan do not keep getting larger. we've had about 65% of the democrats we've seen since 2001 have been attributable to the policy changes under george bush. almost all of them policy changes made under george w. bush. there is simply no doubt that when you vastly increase spending, hugely cut taxes and do all of that during the expanding economy, when you really should not be running large deficits, that you are not running a particularly fiscally responsible administration. >> damn you, arithmetics and you meddling kids. mitt romney's campaign responded
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to presidents clinton's speech in a statement. ready? president clinton drew a stark contrast between himself and president obama tonight. bill clinton worked with republicans, balanced the budget and after four years he could say you were better off. barack obama hasn't worked across the aisle. he has barely work with other democrats. and has the worst economic record of any president in modern history. president clinton's speech brought the disappointment and failure of president obama's time in office clearly in focus. that's from ryan williams. who is a romney spokesman. barely worked with other democrats? >> that's obviously a ridiculous and disingenuous statement because it has to be. what are they going to say? >> they didn't filibuster, it's just your imagination. >> here's something that is fascinating. in certain ways they have faced similar trajectories. each came into office, each suffered huge mid-term losses and had to deal with a republican congress. and one of the thing you can say for president barack obama that you cannot say for bill clinton,
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is that all of the bad stuff that bill clinton did in terms of try angulation far outlasted his administration. i'm talking about the defense of marriage act. the effective death penalty act. the deal they cut on immigration. >> can i add the prison litigation reform act. >> also a terrible piece of legislation. don't ask don't tell. all of these things went out into the future after he was there. the best thing he did which was the peace and prosperity which was the balanced budget and the full employment was destroyed and severed almost immediately upon him leaving office. president obama in contrast has cut a lot of deals on budget projections in the future but hasn't signed a piece of legislation that will haunt us 20 years from now in an effort to triangulate with republican congress in the way that bill clinton did. >> i want to get into the roll call. we are getting close to the moment where president obama will officially be nominated again. let's listen.
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>> at this point for ohio. >> thank you, mississippi. mississippi passes to ohio. ohio, you have 191 votes. >> thank you. madam secretary, i'm with the ohio democratic party. ohio, ohio, the battleground state. ohio, the state that elects presidents as we did in 2008. ohio, the home of american heroes and american icons. the home neil armstrong and john glenn. the home of senators sherrod brown and governor ted strickland. and ohio, despite of mitt romney's efforts, the home of
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the chevy cruz and the chrysler jeep and 850,000 american jobs. ohio, madam secretary, casts all 188 votes for the president and the next president of the united states, barack obama. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ohio casts 188 votes for barack obama. ♪ ♪ celebrate good times ♪ celebrate good times >> ladies and gentlemen, i have been informed that barack obama is now our party's official nominee for president of the united states of america. congratulations, mr. president. congratulations, america.
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and on november 6th, we will reelect you to lead our nation forward. >> dictated in the constitution, our founding documents, the sound of cool and the gang. now we are over the top. that's exactly right. our sacred honor. kool and the gang celebration and the video screen, the video animation in the jumbo tron there is because we put the president over the top of nominees, excuse me, votes he needs to properly secure the nomination. that's why mississippi is going after ohio even though they had previously been in alphabetical order. mississippi passed so that ohio could have that moment in the spotlight. ohio, obviously, critical swing state in this election and every election. we'll be right back. it is msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national which now officially has a nominee.
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when congressman ryan looked into that tv camera and attacked president obama's medicare savings as, quote, the biggest, coldest power play, i didn't knowhether to laugh or cry.
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because that $716 billion is exactly to the dollar the same amount of medicare savings that he has in his own budget. you've got to get one thing, it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did. >> it takes some brass. i will say that was the, how do you say, lol moment of the speech for everybody here in the studio. we're all sort of marveling at president clinton riffing the way he is and taking on this long speech and the obvious joy and confidence with which he was doing it. sort of owning the room that way. when he got to it takes some brass, everybody sort of fell out. chris matthews is in charlotte with his, in his sea of adoring fans. chris, what do you think is the important thing that happened tonight? >> do you know what i liked
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about clinton, he reminded me of the war room in 1992. it was headed by george stephanopoulos. he taught us in that election, you have to punch back immediately. you must engage in combat. that politics is a contact sport if you want to win. if you don't want to win, you let the charges fly. the most important thing he taught obama today, he needs surrogates like clinton. he's got some now. he's got michelle, castro, rahm, he's got chuck schumer out there, a lot of people. he has duval patrick out there. he has a lot of people, perhaps dozens of them that can give speeches that punch back at the republicans. it doesn't have to be barack obama out there taking all the hits. he could have a whole team of people. he has to stop using staff. he has to stop using staffers like plouffe and axelrod and those people. he has to start using political principles. i think that's really important. i have somebody yelling back here. i'm be sure if it is positive or negative here. back to you, rachel. >> i'm pretty sure that is david
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axelrod to you saying he shouldn't be going on national television anymore. >> at a certain point volume trumps point of view. to chris's point about surrogates and what will happen next, it is not just president obama speaking tomorrow night. they've put the president and the vice president on the same night. vice president biden actually got a huge cheer tonight in the hall when president clinton shouted him out on the stimulus in terms of sort of watch dogging the stimulus and making sure that it was something that worked the way iwas supposed to work. a big, big crowd response on that. we've seen a lot of joe biden in materials of watching speeches. how effective is he as a surrogate? i will preface the question by saying, i think he is a lot more effective than republicans think he is. republicans make fun of him as if he is an embarrassment. every time he talks i feel like it is more of an asset than a detriment. >> when i went to new hampshire a few months back, the crowd loves him. wherever joe goes, he's a
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regular joe. he speaks their language. he has good connectivity that people like. all this trumped up activity about him being on the ticket, hillary and all this right wing stuff. they know how effective joe biden is. he has been a real good strong, confident voice in the president's ear when it comes to foreign policy. that was one of the reasons why he was put on the ticket. no one right now can argue with the foreign policy success that's president obama has had. so joe biden is solid. i don't think they're going to be holding him back at all. >> the right has caricatured joe biden in a way that they have set expectations very, very low. not just for the speech tomorrow night, which is less important. all eyes will be on the president but particularly for that debate on the right. you saw the glee. i can't wait until paul ryan destroys joe biden. i can't wait for the debate for a lot of reasons. not because i think it will be one-sided. and it is one-sided, it won't be against joe biden. >> i think you will have to
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really, really hope for that mr. ryan is ready, because mr. ryan has had all of this build up. and one, we've seen he is fast and furious with the facts, which joe biden will not let him get away with. and we really have never seen him debate at that level. he is going to no man's land. joe biden has been on that national platform in those national debates before. and if he is not careful, he's going to treat him like, let me teach you, son, how we do this. that could be the worst thing that could happen. or the best thing that could happen, depending on your politics. >> the other big speech tonight and a person who got a big national boost out of an appearance tonight was elizabeth warren. we've got more on that ahead. plus looking ahead to tomorrow. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the democratic convention. we're still here. stay with us. oa. right? get. out. exactly! really?! [ mom ] what? shut the front door. right?
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republicans say they don't believe in government. sure they do. they believe in government to help themselves and their powerful friends. after all, mitt romney is the guy who said, corporations are people. no, governor romney,
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corporations are not people. >> elizabeth warren, the democratic candidate for senate in massachusetts gave the other big speech of the night. steve, do you think that was an effective speech? do you think it's going to help her in massachusetts? >> i don't know. i think she has her work cut out for her in massachusetts. i think scott brown is a brilliant politician. he is in a democratic state. he is running roughly five points ahead. it's one of the marquee senate races in the country. republicans are counting on a brown victory as part of equation to take a majority control of the senate. it will be a race where there is a lot of outside money in. a lot of outside groups, a lot of focus. obviously, a lot of democrats in massachusetts watching that, i suspect. it was marginally helpful for her but i do think she is the underdog in that race. >> i think she was smart on issues to go after scott brown implicitly on voting against fair pay for women. she hit some of the other issues she has hit him on repeatedly. specifically going after him on the fair pay issue which is
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something he has not really been able to defend. he has come up with great defenses for a lot of other things. on that one, it hits that economic fairness issue in a way i thought was good. >> remembering last week, the republican convention he was doing that interview with andrea mitchell. we haven't seen someone move that fast since muhammad ali in his prime. >> i thought it was a good speech, not great speech. it wasn't a great speech. a good speech. just the tone of it. here we are, we're three and a half years after this massive financial crisis caused by systematic structural deceit, fraud, manipulation and game rigging on wall street. $8 trillion of wealth destroyed. a great decision that is, a great recession ground to dust. the working people of this country, and there is, from that stage, very little in the way of heat or anger about the massive
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injustice of it all. the injustice that continues to this day. the people still out of work because of the malfeasance, incompetence, and fraud from the people on wall street and there was a little bit of a hint. it's remarkable how short our memory is. in this political moment, you would anticipate more of that. >> maybe because he has been moved out of his bank of america stadium would give the democrats reason to talk about that tomorrow. that manmade disaster. i have to thank steve schmidt, al sharpton, ed schultz, chris hayes, lawrence o'donnell, everybody who helped us out tonight. we'll be back tomorrow night for the finale night of the democratic convention. as president obama and vice president biden will each take the stage. chris matthews is now picking up our coverage live from charlotte in just a moment. stay with us. felennnc ]re flre regenerbe
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we believe that we're all in this together is a far better philosophy than you're on your own. >> i'm chris matthews still in charlotte at the democratic national convention. there is a reason why so many of us call him the greatest politician of his time. bill clinton delivered a master piece of a speech. a wonder, a rousing call to reelect president obama.
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let's watch. >> in tampa, the republican argument against a president's re-election was actually pretty simple. pretty snappy. it went something like this. we left him a total mess. he hadn't cleaned it up fast enough so fire him and put us back in. >> well, it is pretty snappy of him to say so. he web through the republican attacks against the president one by one and pummeled them. the president joined him up on stage for that perfect photo that he will need. tomorrow it will be obama alone with michelle. that picture is very important. that president clinton delivered. here's another bit of the president going big time tonight. >> since 1961, for 52 years now, the republicans have held the white house 28 years. the democrats, 24. in those 52 years, our private
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economy has produced 66 million private sector jobs. so what is the job score? republicans, 24 million. democrats, 42. >> wow! tonight you learn what the word surrogate means. that's a surrogate out there. bill clinton making the fight for barack obama. if you need someone in your corner, nobody is better than bill. for more i'm joined by the "huffington post." both are political analysts. look, is this the start of something big, joy? have they finally decided to put the surrogates on the road. michelle, bill clinton, all the best. instead of putting the juniors on. put the real big shots to defend they guy. >> if they're smart they'll take bill clinton's speech.
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cut i up into parts. each individual defense of policy and they will e-mail that to every other surrogate going out on the road. bill clinton just put on a clinic. he explained complicated policy in ways the ordinary guy, the ordinary woman could understand and he explained, i think, some of the issues people have been concerned about. jobs, where are we on jobs? he explained how we got here and he explained what president obama has done and he explained why it would have been impossible. he said even he couldn't do it. to fix eight years of rot in four years. i thought that was critical. >> by the way, sebelius was even out last night. he has said they're not under the hat check. they can come out and campaign. do you have any sense they're going to follow one heavyweights, principals like the first lady? >> i think so, chris. the key to this is bill clinton as governor and as a rising politician learned how to
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explain, defend, and extol the role of government in american life in a conservative era. he did it. he was the guy rising up. >> out of arkansas. rising up against the reagan tie. how to explain it to the guys in the gas station. and more important, he argues that cooperation is actually better for the economy than mitt romney's way. and in the internet era, the era where you share traffic. where sharing is the way both profit, he is an economic argument there. and nobody can better unpack and explain government programs simply. he did a better job in 48 minutes of explaining the successes of the obama administration than i've got to say the obama administration itself has done. >> okay. tough question. is he a better general election candidate than the president? the president is a great primary fighter. he beat hillary clinton. >> i think the president when he speaks is really a poet. and he goes out and he sort of
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explains in very large grand terms the american experience. you've talked about. this he explains what american this means. michelle did that the other night. bill clinton is a coach. he is on the field and able to explain the plays. he is able to do it in rote. i think the president needs a little bit of both. >> let's take a look now. take a look at the president. here he is. bill clinton making a strong case against republican policy that's he says would take us back to the policy that's got us into where we got into in the first place. let's watch. >> in order to look like an acceptable moderate alternative to president obama, they just didn't say very much about the ideas they've offered over the last two years. they couldn't. because they want to go back to the same old policy that's got us in trouble in the first place. they want to cut taxes for high income americans. even more than president bush did. they want to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailout. they want to actually increase defense spending over a decade, $2 trillion more than the pentagon has requested. without saying what they'll spend it on. and they want to make enormous
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cuts in the rest budget. especially program that help the middle class and poor children. as another president once said, there they go again. >> you know, i keep thinking, it's not reagan. it's harry truman. he says if you want to win, give them hell. he just went back and whacked them. >> to evoke reagan was brilliant. they are in the pantheon looking down. number two, i think the democrats decided and bill clinton decided that the republicans had left a big opening with their lack of specificity in tampa. the republicans were focusing on the log cabin story. no arithmetic. and bill clinton has always specialized in that kind of thing, it down. he drove the specifics in a way
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that undecided vote here's we tend to think of not caring about the number do care about the numbers. he was aiming at those undecided voters. michelle last night was rallying the troops, this was bill clinton making the case to undecided. not necessarily democratic voters. i thought it was brill yanltly done. >> do you like the way he belittled the other side? i like that part. you remember churchill once said during the cold frozen winter when the nazis were losing in russia. he said they did not do their homework. they did not read that it gets cold in russia in the wintertime. that kind of brilliant disdainful commentary. >> now you have the parties in reverse. you have the republicans, they're practicing identity politics. they're saying those guys are taking your stuff. we're going to give you the country back. we won't tell you any specific way we'll do it but that's what we'll do. the democrats are now the policy party. >> bill clinton said he never learned to hate the other party. that's probably true. listen to him. >> though i often disagree with
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republicans, i actually never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls the party seems to hate our president and a lot of other democrats. that would be impossible for me. because president eisenhower sent federal troops to my home state to integrate little rock central high school. president eisenhower built the interstate highway system. when i was the governor, i worked with president reagan and his white house on the first round of welfare reform unfortunately the faction that now dominates the republican party doesn't see it that way. they think government is always the enemy. they're always right and compromise is weakness. >> i don't know where to begin or end on this hate stuff. but i see it from republicans. they want photo id cards for minorities. they want the president to show his papers. they go after food stache. they never stop the line of attack.
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>> this is where the president was trying to slice off a sliver of what used to be the republican party. >> the positive party. positive party. and bring it into the democratic fold again. as he is the master at doing. he divides the other side. he pushes in this case, the haters off into one corner. and in essence says they're the ones who are not the main stream. >> he says they're now in charge. >> he is isolating, he is right. he is isolating them. here we are in the south with the southern guy who said he is fixing to tell you something. that's the way he explains it. he is saying everybody but the extremists come with me. and they want to use bill clinton. the other side, republicans. >> you said they did it again tonight. the pushback tonight. they said bill clinton showed the difference between him and obama. >> no, no. here's my take on this. that i know a lot of clinton people helped obama on this speech. part of it, a lot of -- people who are both from both
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administrations are together. gene sperling, the current president's economic adviser, hem out on the bill clinton speech tonight. lots of other staffers are shared. bill clinton himself has a stake in the success of barack obama. >> explain. >> because they have a shared vision of how to use cooperation to advance the role of the country. government is not a part. not the indispensable or only part. so far from wanting barack obama to lose as some cynics think he might. i don't believe that for a second. they agree on a vision of government. now that bill clinton has made a commitment to this campaign, and he has in a very public way. he is going on campaign very hard and very vigorously. but if he does nothing else, then hand over the road map that he did tonight. he will have done president
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obama's re-election a huge favor. >> that's the rosie glass. could he be saying there is potential for cooperation if we break the fever. this is what obama says. if he can beat the real far right, then the jeb bushes will come down the road. the people he can deal with will take over. >> that's what bill clinton did. he even worked with newt gingrich. this is what i found ironic. barack obama represents the wing of the party that repudiated the triangulation. repudiated the idea of being deficit hawks. bill clinton went into that room and got them to cheer for the ideas that they formally during clinton era rejected. even welfare reform. >> and obama sort of, a lot of the compromise elements. >> that clinton tried health care. so there is a continueum there.
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>> it didn't start with mitch mcconnell. it was bill kristol who leads on the right who that, don't compromise on health care. >> other thing, keep in mind, bill clinton is the ambassador to the undecided white vote. to simplify slightly. and everybody in the country, especially the undecided voters, hate the gridlock in washington them want cooperation. bill clinton kind of gave the blessing of the hope of cooperation and breaking the gridlock. >> here's another great line of the speech to get that point. let's watch. >> when congressman ryan looked into that tv camera and attacked president obama's medicare savings as, quote, the biggest, coldest power play, i didn't know whether to laugh or cry. because that $716 billion is exactly to the dollar the same amount of medicare savings that
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he has in his own budget. you've got to give one thing. it takes some brass for attacking a guy for doing what you did. >> it takes some brass to attack a guy for what you did. >> i was in the hall and i could see the teleprompter and the former president. that was one of many adlib lines. the last thing you want to be is a teleprompter operator during a bill clinton speech. so he adlibed that line about you have to have the brass to do that and it was a very, very effective line. >> if you don't think that attack is coming back in the vice presidential attacks, joe biden is just waiting for the opportunity to use a similarly pithy line. >> if paul ryan wants to engage in a debate for the next month with bill clinton, good luck. >> good luck.
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>> we saw the master tonight. the big guy. the big dog. bubba, elvis was back tonight. thank you. and by the way, we saw the real bill clinton. when we come back, the guy who does bill clinton better than anyone, the great darrell hammond will join us. some of the clintonisms. this will be fun. >> people ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets in a row. what new ideas did we bring to washington? i always give a one word answer. arithmetic. [ applause ] . we know a place where tossing and turning have given way to sleeping. where sleepless nights yield to restful sleep. and lunesta can help you get there, like it has for so many people before.
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president obama pointed several members of his cabinet even though they supported hillary in the primary. heck, he even appointed hillary. after last night, i want a man who had the good sense to marry michelle obama. >> years from now we may look back at tonight and remember
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bill clinton's speech as one of the greatest in convention history. no one including president obama himself has made a better case for obama than bill clinton did tonight. and how does he do it? for that we turn to the man who crawled inside the man's head all those years on saturday night live. he portrayed bill clinton in thousands of comedy sketch. he has a different talent. from mother jones magazine, darrell, you said a minute ago that the line tonight was the man with the good sense to marry michelle. >> i think so. because you know, andrea mitchell used a phrase earlier, a clintonian speech. to me a clintonian speech is before he educates and inspires us, he will charm the day lights out of us. i want to elect a man who had the good sense to marry michelle obama is political genius. if you're the undecided guy, wow, i feel good. i feel real good and now i would like to listen. >> what do you make of these incredible gestures?
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they're going to teach these in school someday. >> they can't teach them. a guy like that, he would be in an oral interpretation in class in college and someone would say you can't do that. you cannot keep doing that. he did it three times. mother nature tells him to do it. and then the effect is seismic. i don't know if you've ever been in an earthquake. i would think if you were an opponent of his, a guy like cheney would say i told you not to let the guy talk. do you know what i mean? >> i always figured that bill clinton landed on mars. he would know how to do it with them. he would know how to reproduce. he would not everything. he would just instinctively know. they would be laughing in about five minutes. the martians. you waxed this guy as political theater tonight. the way they came out bringing obama out to greet him for that big thing. that will be in all the papers tomorrow. that double shot.
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>> the big hug. two alpha males out there. >> two heavyweights. minute is the natural. we said it in the '90s and this is true now. you've been doing this a long time. can you think of an expresidential speech that was this good or had this much potential for impact? i can't. this guy is even better than he was and he gave all the obama people a tutorial in how to talk about themselves. how to talk about what they've done. and he has this unique talent. not just to be a great speaker but to combine policy and passion. he could have gone on for another hour talking about global warming and pacific rim, co-generation and people would be going, yeah, yeah, give me more. he just has it.
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he has his quality. and it was always there. and i think you're right. it would work on mars, venus or wherever. >> i like the fact that he punches. he just keeps punching. you know? the other guy just hit me. i'm punching him back. >> i never saw him punch like that before. did you? >> no. he was hitting everything the republicans threw at obama. medicare. give me your best shot at medicare. on welfare, bang back at the guy. he just pounded back at him. it was all, give me another one. hilt me again. give me your best shot. >> but he also makes it look like he's thinking about what he is saying as he says it. >> he is. ? have the brass line wasn't in the text. and yeah, another thing. let me tell you this about that. and he just goes. on it is not a speech. it is a performance. everything that he's ever done distilled into the moment. >> i always have the sense that he has about ten great lines
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prepared. locked and loaded. and as the situation presents itself were to be appropriate, he pops one out and blows the roof off like he did tonight. >> when i thought he said how much he deeply believed it in obama. he didn't just make the intellectual case like lawyers do. the client is guilty but the lawyer gives a good case. he said i believe in this client. i believe in this president. inl -- in other words, i haven't always told the truth in the past but i mean it now. i mean it now. i mean it. >> has anyone brought up no president could have come back in three and a half years? that line he gave? >> no. that was true. because he said they left us in such a deep hole. it was so deep. >> he is one of the only guys out there who can speak to this knowing what it takes. he had the job. so when he says, he talks about cooperation and how much he needs it. he talks about the challenge. he talks about it from firsthand experience. who else could come and make that sort of case? >> well, it is great to have you on. my theory is that the man is probably the youngest expresident we've ever had, who is the healthiest and coming back. i think that's one thing about politics. if you can outlive your enemies. it is really important. outlive your enemies. keep fighting what they've given up. don't quit.
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never retire. stay in the ring and eventually, there will be nobody else in the ring but you and you'll be punching like mad and they've lost. there's that guy that went after them. what was the prosecutor's name? >> ken starr. >> no one talks about him. >> he is still out there. >> henry hyde. he's gone. he is there and he's getting better and he's making a mark on history. >> can you imagine how good a case he will make for hillary in two or three years? >> or anybody else. >> it will just be him and hillary out there. i think he is getting ready for the road trip of his lifetime. the last hoorah and it will be four years from now. if he is still healthy, he and hillary hitting the road together. and guess who will be endorsing them. barack obama. any way, can you do me? let's watch him do me one last time. have some fun. i think we've got a piece of me. let's watch that. >> i ask you, is the administration losing control
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faster than billy joel behind the wheel after a ten martini lunch? >> chris, i think everyone would agree that up until the media got involved, thing were going pretty great in iraq and afghanistan. >> madam secretary, that's the dumbest thing i ever heard. >> if i really ever did what you did to me, i guess i do, don't i? >> you guys both look pretty young there. >> that was a long time ago. >> way to go, pal. some day when anyone gets around to imitating you, which they never will. >> it is weird to get a phone call from chris matthews. like i was in the pharmacy one day. what are you doing? like, i have a stomach ache. pepcid ac. >> i was having dinner with the kids one day and i was talking to them. when you do bill clinton, do you imitate him or do you get into his soul? >> i don't try to imitate him.
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imitation, you cannot get laughs like. that i try to be the guy. i try, i mean, i think of him comforting a family that has just been through something terrible and telling, explaining to them, yes, life can be bad but you know what? it can be good and here's how. you know? >> i think you're right. i think you've got the best part of him. thank you, darrell hammond. what a night in politics. and i loved tonight, obviously. that's it for msnbc's coverage tonight. i'll be back tomorrow at 5:00 eastern right here in charlotte, north carolina. the queen city. it's 7:00 eastern for full coverage of the final night for barack obama. the president of the united states speaks tomorrow, and the vice president endorses him. both on the stage tomorrow night. until then, good night from charlotte. idide? you're not my dad ahh!! hey honey, back feels better, little dancing tonight, you and me? dr. scholl's pro inserts relieve different types of lower body pain by treating at the source so you're a whole new you. go pro with dr. scholl's.
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continuing coverage of the democratic national convention. i want to bring in my colleague on the set in terms of the response to this speech. steve schmidt as a political consultant in 2008. how was this speech? >> it was extraordinary. a virtueoso. no other person who could hold the attention of the crowd, have them yelling and screaming. speaking for three quarters of an hour. i wish to god as a republican we had someone on our side who had the ability to do that. we don't. it would be great if we did.
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just an amazing performance. struck by the political almost genius of how he embraced the bush family and george w. bush for the purposes of marginalizing house republicans and pushing them to the extreme. it was a devastating critique but it was delivered with an absence of malice or anger. a smile on his face, logic aimed squarely at the electorate where he is so powerful. another good night for obama. >> as a democrat, it doesn't get any better. i'm sitting here, i'm giddy. this is exactly what barack obama needed. mending fences, bringing people together and understanding the
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facts. and i like the way that president clinton talked about the alternative universe that the republicans have painted president obama in. that they're not in reality. they're not in the real world. he even used the word hate. and i'm glad he addressed this tonight. you have to understand the climate before you can have the healing. and he also talked about a dysfunctional washington, saying it doesn't have to be a blood sport. and documented the kinds of things that he worked on with republicans, and really, in a roundabout way, gave the country hope. that we can get together and we should be, and it is a responsibility for elected officials to get to the point where they can work together. and of course, he talked about philosophy which i think is important. about owning your own philosophy of owning your own health care, your own retirement and taking
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those risks. gosh, i think president clinton just did barack obama the biggest favor he could have ever done and i think this is going to give him the bounce. >> i want to go to chuck todd on the floor of the convention hall in charlotte. in part i want to hear from chuck but i appreciate that there is still something going on in the floor of the convention. the roll call which is actually the nomination of the president. >> yes, it is the roll call. they're in the middle of it now. they're doing american samoa. smile go through, i'm told that let's see. the president's last name begins with the letter o. the state that is likely to put him over the top begins with the letter o. last time i heard there is a state in the battleground that is high in the middle and round on the ends. that would be the state you would look for to see as you're watching. as we're tuning in and out we'll look very much there. i want to make one clinton comment. just so you know, we have terry mcauliffe. he'll be making the rounds.
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if you think about the partisan wars of the '90s. the fact that bill clinton is now the democratic party's best person to talk to independent voters. it just shows you that everything, you know, everything can come around and become new again. it is amazing when you think back of what 97 to 99 was like in american politics. as polarized frankly as we are today. and it is that president that is now the guy that probably can speak better to independent voters than any national leader in either party. >> that's right. and on that point that ed was just making about, talking about democracy not being a blood sport. that was another rif. a depart you from the prepared remarks when president obama talked about the partnership between hillary clinton and barack obama, showing that democracy does not have to be a blood sport. it can be an honorable enterprise. talking about taking hillary's support enters into the cabinet. picking hillary herself and the way, talking about even within the democratic party there being a sort of bridge of respectful, respectful willingness to work together. that was the way he broadened it
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out. >> think about who could be bitter. he could be a very bitter person. there are a lot of people who think he never got his full second term. he could be very bitter and he's chosen to go, chose to go a different route. >> i think also, what was striking. it was the first real sustained mention, articulation and excavation of the record of the republican caucus and this has been the defining feature of the republican party, and in some ways, i think it was masterful politically. the one big implicit opening in that is why will things be different? what will change now? what are we looking at if we reelect president barack obama and we get john boehner again? it is an incredibly useful tool to remind the electorate of how extreme the caucus is. how singular they've been in their focus on defeating the president. when you think about what the next term looks like, that's where the argument begins to lose its steam. >> take a democrat. you can see it in the
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congressional republicans. vote for democrats. they're in the all ticket argument. >> i think rather than romanticized the moment for those in the democratic fight to disagree with clinton, the reason i think it was masterful and i have been one that has agreed and disagreed with president clinton. he had a unique credibility. one, because he had gone through this polarized kind of climate himself. so he can identify with president obama unfairly doing. and because he went through a contentious primary with his own wife and president obama. so let's not act like he descended from heaven and made this speech.
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he came up from hell. as a survivor of an internal party hell that he was part of and caused some of. what he did, then he talked about cooperation and how president obama believes in cooperation. he even appointed his enemies, lincolnesque. and then he methodically took down everything from pell grants to medicaid to medicare to voter i.d., something on my heart. after he called for cooperation. let me tell what you they stand for. not bad guys want to work with them. the bushes helped me all over the world but what they're doing is wrong. it was methodical. the only thing the president has to do tomorrow night is come on and inspire. the case has been laid out, signed, sealed and delivered. elvis and bubba showed up tonight. >> what he said about medicaid. when he stopped and said, they want to cut medicaid by a third. and remember two-thirds of medicaid spending is going to seniors in nursing home and middle class kids on disability. we don't talk about the medicaid stuff. it is all about medicare. that is a devastating critique because first, it is true. and it has been an send from the entire political discussion. >> i think the fact that his wife hillary clinton tried so hard to do something in his first term with health care, and
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was not successful. i think president obama -- president clinton certainly appreciate what has been accomplished. that was about the best presentation i have ever seen on exactly what this health care bill is doing and will do for america. capsulized in a speech. i thought it was very compelling and president clinton just had that arkansas way about him. can think what you want about me. i'll just tell you how it is. >> it did make the room feel very small. >> did you see the emotion? the women were just connected. i noticed that. we kept taking shots of the emotions of the people in the crowd. the democrats have definitely got the republicans beat on the quality of speakers. it is not even close. >> let's bring on lawrence
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o'donnell in the convention hall. tell us your experience of the speech. what you saw there. >> i think one of the concerns that the obama team has to have is what was the effect of the speech outside of this hall where it went? more than a half-hour longer
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than it was scheduled to go. it was one of those clinton tests of the attention span. he used to do this with state of the union addresses that many of us thought went too long. then on bill clinton's longest state of the union address, when the pundit opinion was unanimous that it had gone far too long and he had lost the audience, he got his biggest poll jump ever from a state of the union address which was the longest one he ever gave. >> we've got, and tonight we have the competing elements of when the networks are going to be taking the feed. right? supposedly, it is 10:00 to 11:00. and it is supposedly there therefore very important that sandra fluke were both speaking in the 10:00 hour. he went so i don't know 10:00 and several of the networks didn't take them. waited for him and then had to make the call about whether to wait into the 11:00 hour. it threw all the rules out the window. >> as anyone who had the prepared text could see, he was running away from the prepared text. it was a constant challenge for the operator. clearly these were not anything anticipated by the speech writing teams here that can try to control the time on the podium. athletic completely lost control of his time probably within the first five minutes of what he was to go. it was remarkable to watch but it was also what made the speech work. when you were reading along the prompter and you saw what he did to it, that was where the magic of the speech was. that's how he improved that speech beyond what was written
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for him. >> let me bring chris matthews back in. when you were hearing the arguments, were you hearing him augment is existing message of the campaign or was he wearing his own clinton for obama campaign? >> well, i thought that it is as if bill clinton was the best staffer president obama has. because he went out and got the numbers. he really did the arithmetic. it is a good word birk the wargs it reminds us of grade school, elementary school. it doesn't intimidate us. we can figure things out ourselves. when you talk about how bill
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clinton balanced the budget and held the debt down and reduced the national debt during his second term. you have to wonder, all he did was look at spending and revenue and did theological choices. whereas w came in and did the opposite. starting a couple of wars, cutting taxes, going wrong way car again in both directions of revenue and spending. so it seems so logical when bill talks. then to bring up the history of the democratic party and job production, 42 million versus something like 20 something million on the republicans side. saying the democratic brand was pretty good. there was an old line if you want to live like a republican, vote like a democrat. and i think bill clinton handled that pretty well tonight. he also summed it up. he said it all comes down to what kind of a country do you want to live in. and i think he did reach to the center tonight. bill clinton as someone said, i think it was you, rachel, he is a man of the center. and i think he brought the center home. look at this crowd.
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this is the alternate universe for us. these people don't have tickets and credentials but they're with us all the way. >> two things about the crowd behind you. first if you disappear, we're going to assume you've been crowd surfed somewhere and we'll come to pick you up later. i'm sure it will be fun. i wonder if that makes you feel differently about how big a price the democrats are paying for not having their giant, giant stadium to fit all these people into it tomorrow night. do you feel like they're actually having a big sacrifice there? because they'll take the smaller venue. >> i have to tell but the people who want to get in and won't be able to. there is an old rule of advance. get a small room and pack it to the ceiling. and i'll tell you, there is nothing wrong with people waiting outside. it has made hard rock cafe a success all these years. nothing like a line outside to advertise how hot it is and great it is inside. these people want to get in. but you know, they have to be careful about safety. >> one of the lines from the clinton speech that i feel like,
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we keep coming back. to part where he talk about, he used the word hateful he said though i often disagree with republicans, and i'm reading from his prepared remarks. the nut of it was, though i often disagree with republicans, i never learned to hate them the way the far right that now control their party seems to hate president obama and the democrats. the reason that is so striking is because of what it was like in the '90s under the clinton administration with the impeachment crusade, with the other, the type of partisan warfare directed. not only against president obama but against hillary clinton.
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and a lot of democrats who more than anything wanted to win in 2008, august you'd that hillary clinton would not be a good choice because the partisan machine that was tuned against both her and her husband would never let up and we would have another four years or another eight years of a country that was completely wrenched in partisan warfare against the clintons. here he is saying, i never hated anybody. i never hated anybody the way these people hate. >> even after all he went through work the clinton global initiative, he has never carried a chip on his shoulder. he has gone to resourceful people who never asked whether he is republican or democrat. and he has raised billions of dollars. it is amazing what he has done. there isn't anybody that walk the face of the earth, very few that have had the life experiences of bill clinton. if you think about where he's been around the world and the ambassador around the united states and the things he's done for humanity. what a credible voice tonight. as much as he has been through. as much as he was targeted he could speak from experience and set forth and say i never hated those guys. i wanted to get something done and he did. and i thought he spoke very well to the economy tonight, too. he made the case about the philosophy of success. wealthy people doing a little more because they can. >> he talked --
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>> i think before you leave the hate part, because he talk about people proud of being, their kids being born in america which referred to, this is a deeper and different kind of hate. they hated hillary clinton for what she wanted to do. they hated him for what they wanted to do. they hate president obama for what he wants to do. and because of what he is. that's what he was alluding to. which was a different hate than bill clinton. they never asked bill clinton for his birth certificate. so he understands the levels of hate here. as much as they fought hillary and him, they never asked them for their birth certificate. let's not act like this is normal partisan hate we're dealing with. >> he singled it out in the way he phrased it.
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a part of republican party hates this president. he is not saying i never hated them the way they hated me. >> one of the remarkable things about it was his use of the word cooperation. if you go to focus groups, you look at surveys of what moves independent voters, ticket splitter, ticket splitting voters. they want cooperation in washington. when they go to soccer game on the weekends, they don't look at the other parents there and make evaluations. is that a democrat or a republican or annd? it is not how people in the real world relate to each other. 25 years after his first key note address at a democratic convention, he was able to position himself as the outsider and explained the dysfunction of what's going on in washington to the country, i think, in a very, very effective way. and i just think it was a remarkable performance. >> the problem with cooperation as a message that you give to the electorate is that it cannot be imposed unilaterally which is part of what we've seen in the obama era. you cannot promise that i will come and create cooperation. because cooperation is by its nature something that two different sides do. so the problem is president has faced, much of the appeal in 2008 and going back to the 2004 key note was about reaching across the aisle.
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it was this dream of a vision of what politics would look like if they weren't mired in the partisanship that defind that political moment. of course, he single handedly was incapable of prougs that cooperation. cooperation by definition is the product of two different sides. >> that's the leap that clinton made in this speech. this speech is bifurcated. one half, second half. first half is we need to cooperate and barack obama is a guy who cooperates. the second half is the other side is not cooperating. therefore they are the problem. it is a speech not about partisanship that has an incredibly partisan message. which is saying vote democratic down the line. because what's wrong with the republican party is that they don't have the country's best interests at heart. they've got something wrong with them as a party. i don't hate people because they're republicans but there's something wrong with republicanism now. that is a case that liberals like me, frankly, have been
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telling the obama administration to make to the country. that they have not been interested in. and president clinton from a very centrist perspective made it tonight more brutally than i think we can expect from the current okay pabt of the white house. >> partly because he has this third party status. he is not one of the people in the negotiations. have the roll call is continuing on the convention call which is a weird but maybe genius bit of staging and scheduling. this was a slow burn night at the convention where there was not a huge amount of enthusiasm at the end of the night. but boy, howdy was there at the en. they camdenized by bringing out president obama for the applause for president clinton and turning that into the actual nomination. the state by state roll call nominating president obama for a second term. the state of hawaii. hawaii here. to president barack obama we say aloha!
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madam secretary, the state of hawaii, the aloha state, in memory of the president's mother and father, cast 31 votes for our child of the islands, president barack obama. >> thank you, governor. hawaii casts 35 votes for barack obama. [ male announcer ] it seems like every company
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> are we better off because president obama fought for health care reform? you bet we are. >> msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national convention in charlotte continues. chuck todd joins us from inside the convention hall and he is with terry mcauliffe. the co-chair of her husband's '96 campaign and long time friend of both clintons. chuck? >> thank you, rachel. terry mcauliffe, you were just telling me off camera how long the president was working on this speech.
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give me a little insight on that. >> for the last month, i went and spent a couple days on vacation with him. i would like to say you go on vacation with the clintons, people sit on the beach, it is a policy with them. he felt like he was lifting the world. this was his responsibility. and i think he knocked it out of the park. took all these very big tough issues. got it down and made people understand, this is a real choice election. >> is it a little surreal, i'll
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add mit it is a little surreal for me covering the partisan wars of the '90s that the democratic party, perhaps the best spokesperson independents to the middle is bill clinton. >> if you remember, you and i lived through the '90s. those were tough time. they were after the president from the day he went into office. as you remember, i think it was always the president clinton's positive outlook, focusing on the economy. that's yefs such a great spokesperson here today. there was a clear choice. he said listen, the republicans in tampa, the best argument is, oh, okay. president obama hasn't fixed all of it fast enough so get rid of him but we're the guys who created it. not a great argument and i think president clinton took all those issues to say what president obama has done and what he will do in the next four years. health care. he took on the next 12 issues. you took on defense, job creation, he created a real choice. you want to go that way or the way of president obama? when you walked out of here or on television, this was a simple decision. >> describe the relationship between president obama and president clinton has evolved. >> in the press, listen of we went through a tough campaign in '08. ran, his wife was running for president of the united states. we got done with that. once the election was over, we had to move on. it was about the united states of america.
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and as you know, i i had president obama and president clinton -- >> you just skipped over a couple of years. did it take the first couple years of the term to become, develop a relationship? >> i always think when a new president comes in, all former presidents just generally, stay back. let the new president get in. pick his team. you know that. that's just natural. and then over time, it evolved. they spent time together. they were golfing. i spend an hour with the two of them in my home. great warm feeling. talked sports. talked politics.
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they're different generations, different folks. they get along. and bill clinton will do anything he can to make sure that president obama is reelected. you could tell that tonight. he was into this speech. he talked about what president obama has accomplished, and that we need president obama for four more years. you could feel that. that was in his heart talking tonight and i can tell you, having talked to the president for a lot, president clinton through this, he believed it. he worked hard tonight. >> have you ever listened to a bill clinton speech and said oh-oh, he might be going too long. >> i don't because i enjoy it. i think one thing you saw president clinton had a great time doing it. he really enjoyed it. but you don't think it is going long because he kept hitting issue after issue. had people laughing, people almost crying. so he just makes it a great speech. nobody can distill these big issues down and get them into that living room like bill clinton can do. >> there was one issue, we haven't heard on the campaign trail a lot. that he brought up tonight. that was medicaid cuts. has this been an issue he's been trying to get the obama administration to talk about more? >> first when you ask president clinton to give a speech, he is going to talk about what he thinks is important. he's been in contact. he talks about medicaid cuts and this is a big deal for president clinton. these cuts to the people most in need in america today. and i think laying it out there the way he did i think was important for the campaign and for the next 60 plus days, i think you'll hear a lot more about it. but medicaid, medicare. he talk about all those issues. very complex and disstilled it
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down and i think you walked away tonight saying bill clinton has a real fondness for president obama. but more importantly, president clinton believes that these nation needs barack obama for four more years. >> is he going to be on the campaign trail? >> he is. >> where does he go next? >> he will do anything the obama campaign asks him to do. if they gave him a schedule tomorrow for the next 65 days, chuck, you know it. >> what three states would you send him to? >> i think clearly, virginia, obviously key. we win ohio, virginia, i feel very good about the 270 electoral votes. but he is very popular in florida. obviously, here the governor, north carolina. i would be a mix of florida and ohio and a virginia i think are very important. >> all right. thank you very much. rachel, right back at you. >> thank you. i appreciate it. c-span just put out a graphic
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about the various lengths of different bill clinton speeches at democratic conventions. the longest one was '96. the second one was 1992. third longest one was tonight. but he was close in 2000. he went 40 minutes in 2000. 48 minutes tonight. the substance of what president clinton was talking about tonight was, he was going after the republican critique of president obama. but then he really did a broad-based citizen effect republican economic policies, contrasting it with his own. his own record. president clinton remining the world that his administration raised taxes, grew the economy, balanced the budget and made a national surplus over what had been the national debt. actively trying to downer with his own record charging that president obama would damage the economy by getting rid of the bush tax cuts. >> people ask me all the time
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how we got four surplus budgets in a row. what new ideas did we bring to washington. i always give a one-word answer. arithmetic. >> doesn't that word make you want to hear from ezra klein about whatever it is being applied to? what do you think about the case he made about his own record on the economy and debt and taxes? >> a 48-minute policy speech is sort of speaking my language. when he says arithmetic, he is there for a particular missile for the obama campaign on, is the plus sign in arithmetic. his argument is the republicans have before him and after him, they only focus on the minus. what you can cut from the budget if they indeed do cut that. that unhis tenure as president, they added taxes. two things happened when that occurred.
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that are really tough for republicans to explain away. one, of course, is that the tax increases helped ba balance the budget. helped get to us a surplus. the other one, this is a bigger deal. weighed fast growing economy. the years of bill clinton were one of the best economies we've had on record in the 20th century. in fact, if you just generally look at when we have had fast
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growing economies in american politics, it has been when we've had fairly high marginal tax rates. the lynnon johnson economy, we've had tax rates as high as 70, 80, 90% and had much faster growth when it went down to 35%. that doesn't mean the tax rates lead to that fast growth. what it does mean is they don't derail it and they tend to help with the broad effort of balancing the budget. one more point on what he said. steve schmidt made the point that republicans have not been able to find somebody on their side that is able to construct a speech like this. a 45-minute policy speech that makes a detailed, substantive case for their actual record of the policies going forward. what was striking to me about tonight, paul ryan was supposed to be that guy for them.
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that was how he came up in republican politics. that's what they saw in him. and he wasn't dispatched to do that at the republican national convention. they've dispatched clinton to do that. and my understanding of obama's speech tomorrow is that it will be very, very policy centric. you've seen a real reliance from democrats. it was simply not matched by the republicans. the democrats saw it as an opening they could define what the way forward was. with clinton in particular, they took it. >> i think we saw that tonight in both the big speech. both from clinton and from elizabeth warren who also did a lot of specific policy talking in her speech while getting a huge response from the crowd. one of the earliest numbered points president clinton made. he did this series of jobs scores. he said since 1961, democrats have held the white house for 24 years and that you wills have held the white house for 28
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years. but since 1961, those 52 years all together, our economy produced 66 million private sellingor jobs. and he said the jobs score on that is that republicans produced 24 million and the democrats produced 42 million. when you hear him make big raw partisan attributions for the jobs numbers, do you think that it is conceivable that those numbers are at all attributable to ideological policy choices or are those things defined so much more in the big term by other factors that you can't really attribute to either party? >> at all attributable, definitely. but i te immediately. you can see it it is no doubt the case that the the democratic presidents have democr the right moment. that's what makes me a little bit nervous about those numbers. what i think is undeniable here is that there are basic fundamental economic policy measures they have taken that have contributed in important ways to both good economies and balanced budgets. and in particular, the tax side of it that clinton was bringing forward there. we have seen and this is undeniable. larger deficits in recent years from republican policies particularly due to the bush tax cuts but also the reagan tax cuts led to large structural deficits. you've seen efforts to get away from that under democratic presidents. and they made a point of paying for his health care bill and then going forward.
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proposing higher tax on the rich in order to close the deficit. so that part of it can be attributed to democratic policies. in when president clinton said that republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before i took office and doubled after i left after he was bragging about turning the deficit into a surplus. that's fiscal policy that he is telling the truth on. >> that's true. we got a graph and i showed at this time other day through this layer cake graph where you can see the bush administration. about a quarter of it is attributable to the bush tax cuts. that will get even larger. they keep getting bigger while
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the wars in iraq and afghanistan do not keep getting larger. we've had about five or 65% of the democrats we've seen since 2001 have been attributable to policy changes. almost all of them policy changes made under george w. bush. there is simply no doubt that when you vastly increase spending, hugely cut taxes and do all of that during the expanding economy, when you really should not be running large deficits, that you are not running a particularly fiscally responsible administration. >> damnu arithmetic! mitt romney's campaign responded to presidents clinton's speech in a statement. ready? president clinton drew a stark contrast between himself and president obama tonight. bill clinton worked with republicans, balanced the budget and after four years he could say you were better off. barack obama hasn't worked across the aisle. he has barely work with other democrats. and has the worst economic record of any president in modern history. president clinton's speech brought the disappointment and failure of president obama's time in office clearly in focus. that's from ryan williams. >> that's obviously a ridiculous and disingenuous statement
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because it has to be. what are they going to say? here's one thing that i think is fascinating. in certain ways they have faced similar trajectories. each came into office, each suffered huge mid-term losses and had to deal with a republican congress. and one of the thing you can say for president barack obama that you cannot say for bill clinton, is that all of the bad stuff that bill clinton did in materials of triangulation far outlasted his administration. i'm talking about the defense of marriage act. the effective death penalty act. the deal they cut on immigration. >> can i add the prison litigation reform act. >> also a terrible piece of legislation. don't ask don't tell. all of these things went out boo the future after he was there. the best thing he did which was the peace and prosperity which was the balanced budget and the
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full employment was destroyed and serd almost immediately upon him leaving office. president obama in contrast has cut a lot of deals on budget projections in the future but hasn't signed a piece of legislation that will haunt us 20 years from now in an effort to triangulate with republican congress in the way that bill clinton did. >> i want to get into the roll call. we are getting close to the moment where president obama will officially be nominated again. let's listen. >>' eight at this point for ohio. >> mississippi passes to ohio. ohio, you have 191 votes. >> thank you. madam secretary, i'm with the ohio democratic party. ohio, ohio, the battleground state. ohio, the state that elects presidents as we did in 2008. ohio, the home of american heroes and american icons. the home neil armstrong and john glenn. the home senators sherrod brown and governor ted strickland. and ohio, in spite of romney romney's efforts, the home of the chevy cruise and the chrysler jeep and 850,000 american jobs. ohio, madam secretary, casts all
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188 votes for the president and the next president of the united states, barack obama. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ohio casts 188 votes for barack obama. ♪ >> ladies and gentlemen, i have been inform that barack obama is now our party's official nominee for president of the united states of america. congratulations, mr. president. congratulations, america.
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and on november 6th, we will reelect you to lead our nation forward. >> dictated in the constitution, our founding documents, the sound of cool and the gang. now we are over the top. that's exactly right. our sacred honor. cool and the gang celebration and the video screen, the video animation in the jumbo tron there is because we put the president over the top of nominees, excuse me, votes he needs to properly secure the nomination. that's why mississippi is going after ohio even though they had previously been in alphabetical order. mississippi passed so that ohio could have that moment in the
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spotlight. obviously a critical swing state in the election. it is msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national convention which now officially has a nominee.
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when congressman ryan looked into that tv camera and attacked president obama's medicare savings as, quote, the biggest, coldest power play, i didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
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because that $716 billion is exactly to the dollar the same amount of medicare savings that he has in his own budget. you've got to get one thing, it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did. >> it takes some brass. i will say that was the, how do you say, lol moment of the speech for everybody here in the studio. we're all sort of marveling at president clinton riffing the way he is and taking on this long speech and the obvious joy and confidence with which he was doing it. sort of owning the room that way. when he got to it takes some brass, everybody sort of fell
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out. chris matthews is in charlotte with his, in his sea of adoring fans. chris, what do you think is the important thing that happened? >> do you know what i liked about clinton, he reminded me of the war room in 1992. it was headed by george stephanopoulos. he taught us in that election, you have to punch back immediately. you must engage in combat. that politics is a combat sport if you want to win. if you don't want to win, you let the charges fly. the most important thing he taught obama today, he needs surrogates like clinton. he's got some now. he's got michelle, castro, rahm, he's got chuck schumer out there, a lot of people. he has duval patrick out there. he has a lot of people, perhaps dozen that's can give tough speeches, that punch back at the republicans. it doesn't have to be barack obama out there taking all the hits. he could have a whole team of
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people. he has to stop using staff. he has to stop using staffers like plouffe and axelrod and those people. he has to start using principals. i think that is really important. i have somebody yelling back here. i'm be sure if it is positive or negative here. back to you, rachel. >> i'm pretty sure that is david axelrod to you saying he shouldn't be going on national television anymore. >> at a certain point volume trumps point of view. to chris's point about surrogates and what will happen next, it is not just president obama speaking. they've put the president and the vice president on the same night. vice president biden actually got a huge cheer tonight in the hall when president clinton shouted him out on the stimulus in terms of sort of watch dogging the stimulus and sure that it was something that work the way it was supposed to work. a big, big crowd response on that. we've seen a lot of joe biden in materials of watching speeches. how effective is he as a surrogate? i will preface the question by saying, i think he is a lot more effective than republicans think he is. republicans make fun of him as if he is an embarrassment.
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every time he talks i feel like it is more of an asset than a detriment. >> when i went to new hampshire a few months back, the crowd loves him. wherever he goes, he speaks their language. he has good connectivity that people like. all this trumped up activity about him being on the ticket, hillary and all this right wing stuff. they know how effective joe biden is. he has been a real good strong, confident voice in the president's ear when it comes to foreign policy. that was one of the reasons why he was put on the ticket. no one right now can argue with the foreign policy success that's president obama has had. so joe biden is solid. i don't think they're going to be holding him back at all. >> the right has caricatured in a way that they have set expectations very, very. low not just the speech tomorrow night which is less important. all eyes will be on the president but particularly for that debate on the right. you saw the glee. i can't wait until paul ryan
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destroys joe biden. i can't wait for it. not because i think it will be one-sided. and it is one-sided, it won't be against joe biden. >> i think you will have to really, really pope for, that mr. ryan is ready. because mr. ryan has had all of this build-up. and one, we've seen he is fast and furious with the facts, which joe biden will not let him get away with. and we really have never seen him debate at that level. he is going to no man's land. joe biden has been on that national platform in those national debates before. and if he is not careful, he's going to treat him like, let me teach you, son, how we do this. that could be the worst thing that could happen. or the best thing that could happen, depending on your politics. >> the other big speech tonight interesting person who got a big national boost out of an appearance was elizabeth warren. we've got more on that ahead. plus looking ahead to tomorrow.
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you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the democratic convention. we're still here. stay with us. e. when taking lunesta, don't drive or operate machinery until you feel fully awake. walking, eating, driving, or engaging in other activities while asleep, without remembering it the next day, have been reported. abnormal behaviors may include aggressiveness, agitation, hallucinations or confusion. in depressed patients, worsening of depression, including risk of suicide, may occur. alcohol may increase these risks. allergic reactions, such as tongue or throat swelling, occur rarely and may be fatal. side effects may include unpleasant taste, headache, dizziness and morning drowsiness. ask your doctor if lunesta is right for you. then find out how to get lunesta for as low as $15 at lunesta.com. there's a land of restful sleep. we can help you go there on the wings of lunesta.
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republicans say they don't believe in government. sure they do. they believe in government to help themselves and their powerful friends. after all, mitt romney is the guy who said, corporations are people. no, governor romney,
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corporations are not people of. >> elizabeth warren, the democratic candidate for senate in massachusetts gave the other big speech of the night. steve, do you think that was an effective speech? do you think it will help her in massachusetts? >> i don't know. i think she has her work cut out for her in massachusetts. i think scott brown is a brilliant politician. he is running roughly five points ahead. republicans are counting on a brown victory as part of the equation to take majority control of the senate. it will be a race where there is a lot of outside money in. a lot of outside groups, a lot of focus. a lot of democrats in massachusetts watching that, i suspect. it was marginally helpful for her but i do think she is the underdog. >> i think she was smart on issues to go after scott brown
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implicitly on voting against fair pay for women. she hit some of the other issues she has hit him on repeatedly. specifically going after him on the fair pay issue which is something he has not really been able to defend. he has come up with great defenses for a lot of other thing. on that one it hits that economic fairness issue. >> remembering last week, the republican convention. he was doing the interview with andrea mitchell. we haven't seen someone move that fast than mohammed aleave in his prime. >> i thought it was a good if not great speech. it wasn't a great speech. a good speech. just the tone of it. here we are, we're three and a half years after this massive financial crisis caused by systematic structural deceit, fraud, manipulation and game rigging on wall street. $8 trillion of wealth destroyed. a great decision that is, a great recession ground to dust. the people of this country. and there is, from that stage, very little in the way of heat or anger about the massive injustice of it all. the injustice that continues to
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this day. the people still out of work because of the malfeesance, incompetence and fraud of the people on wall street and there was a little bit a hindrance. how short our memory is. in this political moment, you would anticipate more of that. >> maybe because he has been moved out of his bank of america stadium would give the democrats reason to talk about that tomorrow. that manmade disaster. i have to thank steve schmidt, and chris hayes and lawrence o'donnell and everybody who helped us out. we'll be back tomorrow night for the finale night of the democratic convention. as president obama and vice president biden will each take the stage. chris matthews now picking up our coverage live from charlotte.
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we believe that we're all in this together is a far better philosophy than you're on your own. >> i'm chris matthews still in charlotte at the democratic national convention. there is a reason why so many of us call him the greatest politician of his time. bill clinton delivered a master
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piece of a speech. a wonder, a rousing call to reelect president obama. >> in tampa, the republican argument against a president's re-election was actually pretty simple. pretty snappy. it went something like this. we left him a total mess. he hadn't cleaned it up fast enough so fire him and put us back in. >> well, it is pretty snappy of him to say so. he web through the republican attacks against the president one by one and pummeled them. the president joined him up on stage for that perfect photo that he will need. tomorrow it will be obama alone with michelle. that picture is very important. that president clinton delivered. here's another bit of the president going big time tonight. >> since 1961, for 52 years now, the republicans have held the white house 28 years. the democrats, 24. in those 52 years, our private economy has produced 66 million
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private sector jobs. so what is the job score? republicans, 24 million. democrats, 42. >> wow! tonight you learn what the word surrogate means. that's a surrogate out there. bill clinton making the fight for barack obama. if you need someone in your corner, nobody is better than bill. for more i'm joined by the "huffington post." both are political analysts. look, is this the start of something big, joy? have they finally decided to put the surrogates on the road. michelle, bill clinton, all the best. instead of putting the juniors on. put the real big shots to defend they guy. >> if they're smart they'll take bill clinton's speech. cut i up into parts. each individual defense of policy and they will e-mail that to every other surrogate going
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out on the road. bill clinton just put on a clinic. he explained complicated policy in ways the ordinary guy, the ordinary woman could understand and he explained, i think, some of the issues people have been concern about. jobs, where are we on jobs? he explained how we got here and he explained what president obama has done and he explained why it would have been impossible. he said even he couldn't do it. to fix eight years of rot in four years. i thought that was critical. >> by the way, sebelius was even out last night. he has said they're not under the hat check.
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they can come out and campaign. do you have any sense they're going to follow one heavyweights, principals like the first lady? >> i think so, chris. the key to this is bill clinton as governor and as a rising politician learned how to explain, defend, and extol the role of government in american life in a conservative era. he did it. he was the guy rising up. >> out of arkansas. rising up against the reagan tie. how to explain it to the guys in the gas station. and more important, he argues that cooperation is actually better for the economy than mitt romney's way. and in the internet era, the era where you share traffic. where sharing is the way both profit, he is an economic argument there. and nobody can better unpack and explain government programs
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simply. he did a better job in 48 minutes of explaining the successes of the obama administration than i've got to say the obama administration itself has done. >> okay. tough question. is he a better general election candidate than the president? the president is a great primary fighter. he beat hillary clinton. >> i think the president when he speaks is really a poet. and he goes out and he sort of explains in very large grand terms the american experience. you've talked about. this he explains what american this means. michelle did that the other night. bill clinton is a coach. he is on the field and able to explain the plays. he is able to do it in rote. i think the president needs a little bit of both. >> let's take a look now. take a look at the president. here he is. bill clinton making a strong case against republican policy that's he says would take us back to the policy that's got us into where we got into in the first place. let's watch. >> in order to look like an acceptable moderate alternative to president obama, they just didn't say very much about the ideas they've offered over the last two years. they couldn't. because they want to go back to the same old policy that's got us in trouble in the first place. they want to cut taxes for high income americans.
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even more than president bush did. they want to get rid of those pesky financial regulations designed to prevent another crash and prohibit future bailout. they want to actually increase defense spending over a decade, $2 trillion more than the pentagon has requested. without saying what they'll spend it on. and they want to make enormous cuts in the rest budget. especially program that help the middle class and poor children. as another president once said, there they go again. >> you know, i keep thinking, it's not reagan. it's harry truman. he says if you want to win, give them hell. he just went back and whacked them. >> to evoke reagan was brilliant. they are in the pantheon looking down. number two, i think the democrats decided and bill clinton decided that the republicans had left a big opening with their lack of specificity in tampa. the republicans were focusing on the log cabin story. no arithmetic. and bill clinton has always specialized in that kind of thing, it down. he drove the specifics in a way that undecided vote here's we tend to think of not caring about the number do care about
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the numbers. he was aiming at those undecided voters. michelle last night was rallying the troops, this was bill clinton making the case to undecided. not necessarily democratic voters. i thought it was brilliantly done. >> do you like the way he belittled the other side? i like that part. you remember churchill once said during the cold frozen winter when the nazis were losing in russia. he said they did not do their homework. they did not read that it gets cold in russia in the wintertime. that kind of brilliant disdainful commentary. >> now you have the parties in reverse. you have the republicans, they're practicing identity politics. they're saying those guys are taking your stuff. we're going to give you the country back. we won't tell you any specific way we'll do it but that's what we'll do. the democrats are now the policy party. >> bill clinton said he never learned to hate the other party. that's probably true. listen to him. >> though i often disagree with republicans, i actually never learned to hate them the way the far right that now controls the party seems to hate our president and a lot of other democrats. that would be impossible for me. because president eisenhower
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sent federal troops to my home state to integrate little rock central high school. president eisenhower built the interstate highway system. when i was the governor, i worked with president reagan and his white house on the first round of welfare reform unfortunately the faction that now dominates the republican party doesn't see it that way. they think government is always the enemy. they're always right and compromise is weakness. >> i don't know where to begin or end on this hate stuff. but i see it from republicans. they want photo id cards for minorities. they want the president to show his papers. they go after food stamps. they never stop the line of
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attack. >> this is where the president was trying to slice off a sliver of what used to be the republican party. >> the positive party. positive party. and bring it into the democratic fold again. as he is the master at doing. he divides the other side. he pushes in this case, the haters off into one corner. and in essence says they're the ones who are not the main stream. >> he says they're now in charge. >> he is isolating, he is right. he is isolating them. here we are in the south with the southern guy who said he is fixing to tell you something. that's the way he explains it. he is saying everybody but the extremists come with me. and they want to use bill clinton.
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the other side, republicans. >> you said they did it again tonight. the pushback tonight. they said bill clinton showed the difference between him and obama. >> no, no. here's my take on this. that i know a lot of clinton people helped obama on this speech. part of it, a lot of -- people who are both from both administrations are together. gene sperling, the current president's economic adviser, hem out on the bill clinton speech tonight. lots of other staffers are shared. bill clinton himself has a stake in the success of barack obama. >> explain.
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>> because they have a shared vision of how to use cooperation to advance the role of the country. government is not a part. not the indispensable or only part. so far from wanting barack obama to lose as some cynics think he might. i don't believe that for a second. they agree on a vision of government. now that bill clinton has made a commitment to this campaign, and he has in a very public way. he is going on campaign very hard and very vigorously. but if he does nothing else, then hand over the road map that he did tonight. he will have done president obama's re-election a huge favor. >> that's the rosie glass. could he be saying there is potential for cooperation if we break the fever. this is what obama says. if he can beat the real far right, then the jeb bushes will come down the road. the people he can deal with will take over. >> that's what bill clinton did. he even worked with newt gingrich. this is what i found ironic. barack obama represents the wing
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of the party that repudiated the triangulation. repudiated the idea of being deficit hawks. bill clinton went into that room and got them to cheer for the ideas that they formally during clinton era rejected. even welfare reform. >> and obama sort of, a lot of the compromise elements. >> that clinton tried health care. so there is a continueum there. >> it didn't start with mitch mcconnell. it was bill kristol who leads on the right who that, don't compromise on health care. >> other thing, keep in mind, bill clinton is the ambassador to the undecided white vote. to simplify slightly. and everybody in the country, especially the undecided voters, hate the gridlock in washington them want cooperation. bill clinton kind of gave the blessing of the hope of cooperation and breaking the gridlock. >> here's another great line of the speech to get that point. let's watch. >> when congressman ryan looked into that tv camera and attacked president obama's medicare savings as, quote, the biggest, coldest power play, i didn't know whether to laugh or cry.
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because that $716 billion is exactly to the dollar the same amount of medicare savings that he has in his own budget. you've got to give one thing. it takes some brass for attacking a guy for doing what you did. >> it takes some brass to attack a guy for what you did. >> i was in the hall and i could see the teleprompter and the former president. that was one of many adlib lines. the last thing you want to be is a teleprompter operator during a bill clinton speech. so he adlibed that line about you have to have the brass to do that and it was a very, very effective line. >> if you don't think that attack is coming back in the vice presidential attacks, joe biden is just waiting for the opportunity to use a similarly pithy line. >> if paul ryan wants to engage in a debate for the next month with bill clinton, good luck. >> good luck. >> we saw the master tonight. the big guy. the big dog.
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bubba, elvis was back tonight. thank you. and by the way, we saw the real bill clinton. when we come back, the guy who does bill clinton better than anyone, the great darrell hammond will join us. some of the clintonisms. this will be fun. >> people ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets in a row. what new ideas did we bring to washington? i always give a one word answer. arithmetic.
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president obama pointed several members of his cabinet even though they supported hillary in the primary. heck, he even appointed hillary. after last night, i want a man who had the good sense to marry michelle obama. >> years from now we may look back at tonight and remember bill clinton's speech as one of the greatest in convention
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history. no one including president obama himself has made a better case for obama than bill clinton did tonight. and how does he do it? for that we turn to the man who crawled inside the man's head all those years on saturday night live. he portrayed bill clinton in thousands of comedy sketch. he has a different talent. from mother jones magazine, darrell, you said a minute ago that the line tonight was the man with the good sense to marry michelle. >> i think so. because you know, andrea mitchell used a phrase earlier, a clintonian speech. to me a clintonian speech is before he educates and inspires us, he will charm the day lights out of us. i want to elect a man who had the good sense to marry michelle obama is political genius. if you're the undecided guy, wow, i feel good. i feel real good and now i would like to listen. >> what do you make of these incredible gestures? they're going to teach these in
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school someday. >> they can't teach them. a guy like that, he would be in an oral interpretation in class in college and someone would say you can't do that. you cannot keep doing that. he did it three times. mother nature tells him to do it. and then the effect is seismic. i don't know if you've ever been in an earthquake. i would think if you were an opponent of his, a guy like cheney would say i told you not to let the guy talk. do you know what i mean? >> i always figured that bill clinton landed on mars. he would know how to do it with them. he would know how to reproduce. he would not everything. he would just instinctively know. they would be laughing in about five minutes. the martians. you waxed this guy as political
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theater tonight. the way they came out bringing obama out to greet him for that big thing. that will be in all the papers tomorrow. that double shot. >> the big hug. two alpha males out there. >> two heavyweights. minute is the natural. we said it in the '90s and this is true now. you've been doing this a long time. can you think of an expresidential speech that was this good or had this much potential for impact? i can't. this guy is even better than he was and he gave all the obama people a tutorial in how to talk about themselves. how to talk about what they've done. and he has this unique talent. not just to be a great speaker but to combine policy and passion. he could have gone on for another hour talking about global warming and pacific rim, co-generation and people would be going, yeah, yeah, give me more. he just has it. he has his quality. and it was always there. and i think you're right. it would work on mars, venus or wherever. >> i like the fact that he punches. he just keeps punching. you know? the other guy just hit me. i'm punching him back. >> i never saw him punch like that before. did you? >> no. he was hitting everything the republicans threw at obama. medicare.
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give me your best shot at medicare. on welfare, bang back at the guy. he just pounded back at him. it was all, give me another one. hilt me again. give me your best shot. >> but he also makes it look like he's thinking about what he is saying as he says it. >> he is. ? have the brass line wasn't in the text. and yeah, another thing. let me tell you this about that. and he just goes. on it is not a speech. it is a performance. everything that he's ever done distilled into the moment. >> i always have the sense that he has about ten great lines prepared. locked and loaded. and as the situation presents itself were to be appropriate, he pops one out and blows the roof off like he did tonight. >> when i thought he said how much he deeply believed it in
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obama. he didn't just make the intellectual case like lawyers do. the client is guilty but the lawyer gives a good case. he said i believe in this client. i believe in this president. inl -- in other words, i haven't always told the truth in the past but i mean it now. i mean it now. i mean it. >> has anyone brought up no president could have come back in three and a half years? that line he gave? >> no. that was true. because he said they left us in such a deep hole. it was so deep. >> he is one of the only guys out there who can speak to this knowing what it takes. he had the job. so when he says, he talks about cooperation and how much he needs it. he talks about the challenge. he talks about it from firsthand experience. who else could come and make that sort of case? >> well, it is great to have you on. my theory is that the man is probably the youngest expresident we've ever had, who is the healthiest and coming back. i think that's one thing about policy. if you can outlive your enemies.
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it is really important. outlive your enemies. keep fighting what they've given up. don't quit. never retire. stay in the ring and eventually, there will be nobody else in the ring but you and you'll be punching like mad and they've lost. there's that guy that went after them. what was the prosecutor's name? >> ken starr. >> no one talks about him. >> he is still out there. >> henry hyde. he's gone. he is there and he's getting better and he's making a mark on history. >> can you imagine how good a case he will make for hillary in two or three years? >> or anybody else. >> it will just be him and hillary out there. i think he is getting ready for the road trip of his lifetime. the last hoorah and it will be four years from now. if he is still healthy, he and hillary hitting the road together. and guess who will be endorsing them. barack obama. any way, can you do me? let's watch him do me one last
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time. have some fun. i think we've got a piece of me. let's watch that. >> i ask you, is the administration losing control faster than billy joel behind the wheel after a ten martini lunch? >> chris, i think everyone would agree that up until the media got involved, thing were going pretty great in iraq and afghanistan. >> madam secretary, that's the dumbest thing i ever heard. >> if i really ever did what you did to me, i guess i do, don't i? >> you guys both look pretty young there. >> that was a long time ago. >> way to go, pal. >> someday bh when anyone gets around to ill taigt you which they never will. >> it is weird to get a phone call from chris matthews. like i was in the pharmacy one day. what are you doing? like, i have a stomach ache. pepcid ac. >> i was having dinner with the kids one day and i was talking to them. when you do bill clinton, do you imitate him or do you get into his soul? >> i don't try to imitate him. imitation, you cannot get laughs like. that i try to be the guy. i try, i mean, i think of him
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comforting a family that has just been through something terrible and telling, explaining to them, yes, life can be bad but you know what? it can be good and here's how. you know? >> i think you're right. i think you've got the best part of him. thank you, darrell hammond. what a night in politics. and i loved tonight, obviously. that's it for msnbc's coverage tonight. i'll be back tomorrow at 5:00 eastern right here in charlotte, north carolina. the queen city. and again 7:00 p.m. eastern for full coverage of the final night for barack obama. the president of the united states speaks tomorrow, and the vice president endorses him. both on the stage tomorrow night. until then, good night from charlotte. atd
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i want to bring in my colleagues, tv schmitt. how was this speech? >> well, it was extraordinary. it was a virtuoso political performance. there is no american that could hold at tension of a crowd, have them yelling and screaming, speaking for three quarters of an hour. i mean i wish to god as a republican we sh someone on our side who had the ability to do that. we don't.
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just an amazing performance. struck by the political and genius how he embraced the bush family and george w. bush for the purposes of marginalizing house republicans and pushing them to the extreme. it was a devastating critique. it was delivered with an absence of malice or anger, a smile on his face, logic, aimed squarely at the middle of the electorate where he is so powerful. very powerful endorsement for president obama. >> effective. as a democrat, it doesn't get any better. i'm sitting here, i'm giddy. this is exactly what barack obama needed. mending fences, bringing people together, understanding the facts. i like the way that president clinton talked about the alternative universe that the republicans have painted president obama in. that they're not in reality.
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they're not in the real world. he even used the word hate. i'm glad he addressed this tonight. you have to understand the climate before you can have the healing. he also talked about a dysfunctional washington saying it doesn't have to be a blood sport. it documented the things he worked on as republicans and gave the country hope. you know, that we can get together and we should be and it's a responsibility for elected officials to get to the point where they can work together. of course he talked about philosophy, owning your own health care and retirement and taking risks. i think president clinton did barack obama the biggest favor he could have ever done and i think this will give him the bounce. >> i want to go to chuck todd in charlotte right now. i want to hear from shock and i want to appreciate there is still something going on the floor right now.
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the roll call happening right now which is the nomination of the president, right? >> there is. there is the roll call. they're in the middle of it now. they're going to go through. i'm told that -- let's see, the president's last name begins with the letter o. the state that is likely to put him over the top begins with the letter o. last time i heard there is a state in the battleground that is high in the middle and round on the ends. that is the state you look for. i want to make one clinton comment. if you think about the partisan wars of the '90s, the fact that bill clinton is now the democratic party's best person to talk to independent voters, it just shows you that, you know, everything can come around and become new again.
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it's amazing to think what '97 to' 99 was and it's that's president that is the guy that can speak better to independent voters than any national leader in either party. >> on that point that ed is making that, was another rift. president obama talked about the partnership between hillary clinton and barack obama showing that democracy does not have to be a blood sport. it can be an honorable enterprise talking about youth, taking hillary supporters into the cabinet, picking hillary herself and the way that -- talking about even within the democratic party there being a sort of bridge of respectful willingness to work together. that is the way he brought it up.
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>> it was the first mentionst record of the house republican caucus and the obstruction and the fact this has been the defining feature of the republican party. and in some ways i think it was masterful politically. the one big implicit opening in that is why will things be different? what will change now? what are we looking at if we reelect president obama and we get john boehner again, right? it's an incredibly useful tool to remind the electorate of how extreme the house republican caucus is, how single minded they've been in defeating the president, but when you think about what the next term looks like, that's where the argument begins to lose its steam. >> they are making the case, look at what the republicans stand for. you can see it in the congressional republicans, vote for democrats, vote against that. they are making the all-ticket argument. >> they are going for the whole
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ticket, but i think rather than romanticize, the reason i think it was masterful and i have agreed and disagreed with president clinton is he had a unique credibility, one because he had gone through this polarized kind of climate himself, so he can identify with president obama's unfairly doing and because he went through a contentious primary with his own wife and president obama. so let's not act like he descended from heaven and made this speech. he came up from hell and made this speech as a survival of an internal party hell that he was part of and caused some of and what he did with the party. then he talked about cooperation and how president obama believes in cooperation, even appointed his enemies, lincoln-esque, then he methodically took down everything from pell grants to medicaid to medicare to voter i.d., after he called for cooperation. but let me tell you what they stand for, not bad guys want to work with them, the bushes helped me all over the world, but what they are doing is wrong.
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it was methodical. the only thing the president has to do tomorrow night is come on and inspire, because the case has been laid out, signed, sealed, and delivered, elvis and bubba showed up tonight. >> also a variety of policy points that have been totally absent from the campaign. what he said about medicaid, they want to cut medicaid by a third, and remember, two-thirds of medicaid spending is going to seniors in nursing home and middle class kids on disability. we don't talk about the medicaid stuff, it's been about medicare, that's a devastating, devastating critique, because it's, a, true, and it has been absent from the entire political discussion. >> i think the fact that his wife, hillary clinton, tried so hard to do something in his first term with health care and
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was not successful, i think president clinton certainly appreciates what has been accomplished. that was about the best presentation i have ever seen on exactly what this health care bill is doing and will do for america, capsulized in a speech. i thought it was very compelling and clinton had that arkansas way about him tonight. you think think what you want about me, i'm just going to tell you how it is. it was very appealing. >> called himself that. >> it did make the room feel very small, it has to be said. >> just the emotion. the women were just connected. i noticed that. we kept taking shots of the emotions of the people in the crowd. he was moving. again, i'll tell you what, one thing's for sure, the democrats
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have definitely got the republicans beat on the quality of speakers. it's not even close. >> let's bring in lawrence o'donnell, lawrence, tell us your experience of the speech, what you saw there. >> reporter: rachel, i think one of the concerns the obama team has to have is what was the effect of the speech outside of this hall, where it went more than a half hour longer than it was scheduled to go. it was one of those clinton tests of a television audience attention span. he used to do this sometimes with state of the union addresses that many of us thought went too long, but then, on bill clinton's longest state of the union address when the pundit opinion was unanimous that it had gone far too long and he had lost the audience, he got his biggest poll jump ever from a state of the union address which was the longest one he ever gave. >> we've got -- and tonight we have the competing elements, right, of when the networks are going to be taking the feed. supposedly 10:00 to 11:00, and it's supposedly, therefore, very
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important. sandra fluke and elizabeth warren were both speaking before bill clinton in the 10:00 hour. he went so beyond 10:00, several of the networks didn't take sandra flick and warren. sort of threw all the rules out the window, didn't it? >> reporter: he did, and as we could see here on the teleprompter and anyone who had the prepared text could see, he was running away from the prepared text constantly. it was a constant challenge, i think, for the prompter operator to keep up, because he would just go off in these riffs that clearly were not anything that were anticipated by the speech writing teams here that can try to control the time on the podium. they completely lost control of his time. probably within the first five minutes of what he was doing, and it was remarkable to watch, but it's also what made the speech work, rachel. when you were reading along the prompter and you saw what he did to it, that was where the magic of the speech was. that's how he improved that speech beyond what was written
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for him. >> let me bring chris matthews back into this discussion. chris, when you were hearing the arguments laid out by president clinton, were you hearing him augment the existing message of the obama campaign or was he running his own clinton or obama campaign? >> well, i thought it's as if bill clinton was the best staffer president obama has, because he went out and got the numbers. he really did the arithmetic in a way i thought the president and none of the people around the president has to do. arithmetic is a good word, by the way, reminds us of grade school, elementary school. when you talk about how bill clinton balanced the budget and held the debt down and actually reduced the national debt during his second term, you have to wonder all he did was look at spending and revenue and did the logical choices, whereas w. came in and did the opposite. starting a couple of wars, cutting taxes, going wrong-way car in both directions of revenue and spending. so it seems so logical when bill
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talks, then to bring up the history of the democratic party and job production, 42 million versus 20-some million on the republican side. saying the democratic brand is pretty good. there's an old line if you want to live like a republican, vote like a democrat, and i think bill clinton handled that very well tonight. he also summed it up. he said, you know, it all comes down to what kind of a country do you want to live in, and i think he did reach for the center tonight. bill clinton, as someone said, i think it was you, rachel, he's a man of the center and i think he brought it home tonight. this crowd here loved him. look at this crowd. this crowd behind me. this is the alternate universe for us.
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these people don't have tickets and credentials, but they are with us all the way, rachel. >> chris, two things about that crowd behind you. first of all, if you disappear, we're going to assume you've been crowd surfed somewhere. i'm sure it will be fun. i wonder if that makes you feel differently about how big a price the democrats are paying for not having their giant, giant stadium to fit all these people into it tomorrow night. do you feel like they are actually having a big sacrifice there because they are going to take the smaller venue? >> i have to tell you about the people wanting to get in and won't be able to, but there's a rule of advance, get a small room and pack it to the ceiling. nothing wrong with people waiting outside. it's made hard rock cafe a success all these years. there's nothing like a line outside to advise how hot it is and great it is inside. these people want to get in, but i think they had to be careful about safety, they really did. >> one of the lines from the clinton speech that i feel like we keep coming back to is the part where he talked about, used the word "hate." though i often disagree with republicans, and i'm reading
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from his prepared remarks, but the nut of it was, though i often disagree with republicans, i never learn to hate them the way the far right that now controls their party seems to hate president obama and the democrats. the reason that is so striking is because of what it was like in the '90s under the clinton administration with the impeachment crusade, with the type of partisan warfare directed, not only against president obama, but against hillary clinton. and a lot of democrats who more than anything wanted to win in 2008 argued that hillary clinton would not be a good choice because the partisan machine that was tuned against both her and her husband would never let up and we would have another four years or eight years of a country that was completely wrenched in partisan warfare against the clintons. and here he is saying i never hated anybody. never hated anybody the way these people hate. >> even after all he went through with the clinton global initiative, he's never carried a chip on his shoulder. he's gone to resourceful people and never asked whether republican or democrat, as he said tonight, and he's raised billions of dollars. it's just amazing what he's
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done. there isn't anybody that walks the face of the earth, very few, that have had the life experiences of bill clinton. if you think about where he's been around the world and the ambassador that he has been for the united states and the things that he's done for humanity, what a credible voice tonight. what a credible voice. as much as he has been through, as much as he was targeted, he can speak from experience and say i never hated those guys. i wanted to get something done, and he did. i thought he spoke very well to the economy tonight too. he made the case about the philosophy of success, about, you know, wealthy people doing a little bit more because they can. i mean, i thought he had a great -- >> i think before you lead the hate part, because he talked about people proud of being -- their kids being born in america, which referred to this is a deeper and different kind of hate. they hated hillary clinton for what she wanted to do. they hated him for what they
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wanted to do. they hate president obama because of what he wants to do and because of what he is. that's what he was eluding to. which was a different hate than bill clinton. they never asked bill clinton for his birth certificate. so he understands the levels of hate here. as much as they fought hillary and him, they never asked him for their birth certificates, so let's not act like this is normal partisan hate. >> he singled it out in the way he phrased it, a part of the republican party hates this president. he's not saying i never hated them or they hated me. >> one of the remarkable things about it was his use of the word "cooperation." if you go to focus groups, you look at surveys of what moves independent voters, ticket-splitting voters. they want cooperation in washington. when they go to soccer games on the weekend, they don't look at the other parents there and make evaluations, is that one a democrat or a republican or an independent. it's not how people in the real world relate to each other. 25 years after his first keynote
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address at a democratic convention, he was able to position himself as the outsider and explain the dysfunction of what's going on in washington to the country, i think, in a very, very effective way. and i just think it was a remarkable performance on that front. >> the problem with cooperation, as a message that you give to the electorate, is it cannot be imposed unilaterally. you cannot promise out to the electorate i will come and create cooperation, because cooperation is, by its nature, something the two different sides do. so the problem that the president has faced is much of the appeal in 2008, and, of course, going back to the 2004 keynote, was about reaching across the aisle. it was this dream of a vision of what politics would look like if they weren't mired in the partisanship that defined that political moment, but he was
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incapable of producing that cooperation. >> that's the leap that clinton made in this speech. one half, second half. first half is we need to cooperate and barack obama is a guy who cooperates. the second half is, the other side is not cooperating, therefore, they are the problem. it's a speech not about partisanship that has a incredibly partisan message, which is saying vote democratic down the line because what's wrong with the republican party is they don't have the country's best interest at heart. they have something wrong with them as a party. i don't hate people because they are republicans, but there's something wrong with republican-ism now. that's a case liberals like me have been telling the obama administration to make to the country that they have not been interested in making and president clinton made it tonight more brutally than we could expect it. >> partly because he has this third party status. he is not one of the people in
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the negotiations. >> the role call is continuing on the convention floor right now, which is a weird but maybe sort of genius sort of staging and scheduling. this was a slow-burn night at the convention where there was not a whole lot of enthusiasm at the beginning, but there was at the end. they capitalized on that by bringing out president obama for the applause for president clinton and then turning that into the actual nomination, the state-by-state roll call nominating president obama for a second term. the state of hawaii, hawaii? hawaii here giving him their votes. >> we say aloha! madam secretary, the state of hawaii, the aloha state, in memory of the president's mother and father, cast 31 votes for our child of the islands, president barack obama. >> thank you, governor. hawaii casts 35 votes for barack obama. are we better off because president obama fought for health care reform? you bet we are. >> msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national convention
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are we better off because president obama fought for health care reform? you bet we are. >> msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national convention in charlotte continues. chuck todd joins us from inside the convention hall and he is with terry mcauliffe. chairman of hillary clinton's '08 campaign. the co-chair of her husband's '96 campaign and long time friend of both clintons. chuck? >> thank you, rachel. terry mcauliffe, you were just telling me off camera how long
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the president was working on this speech. give me a little insight on that. >> for the last month, i went and spent a couple days on vacation with him. i would like to say you go on vacation with the clintons, it's different than most vacations. people sit on the beach, it is a policy seminar with him. as soon as president obama asked him to do this, that burden, he felt like he was lifting the world. this was his responsibility. and i think he knocked it out of the park. took all these very big tough issues. got it down and made people understand, this is a real choice election. >> is it a little surreal, i'll admit it is a little surreal for me covering the partisan wars of the '90s that the democratic party, perhaps the best spokesperson independents to the middle is bill clinton. >> if you remember, you and i lived through the '90s. those were tough time. they were after the president from the day he went into office. as you remember, i think it was always the president clinton's positive outlook, focusing on the economy. that's why he was such a great spokesman here today.
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there was a clear choice. he said listen, the republicans in tampa, they got us into this mess. the best argument, is, oh, okay. president obama hasn't fixed all of it fast enough so get rid of him but we're the guys who created it. not a great argument and i think president clinton took all those issues to say what president obama has done and what he will do in the next four years. health care. he took on the tough issues. you took on defense, job creation, he created a real choice. you want to go that way or the way of president obama? when you walked out of here or on television, this was a simple decision. >> describe the relationship between president obama and president clinton has evolved. >> in the press -- listen, we went through a tough campaign in '08. ran, his wife was running for president of the united states. we got done with that. once the election was over, we had to move on. it was about the united states of america. and as you know, i had president
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obama and president clinton -- >> you just skipped over a couple of years. did it take the first couple years of the obama term for the two of them to become -- develop a working relationship? >> i always think when a new president comes in, all former presidents just generally, stay back. let the new president get in. pick his team. you know that. that's just natural. and then over time, it evolved. they spent time together. they were golfing. i spent an hour with the two of them in my home. great warm feeling. talked sports. talked politics. they're different generations, different folks. they get along. and bill clinton will do anything he can to make sure that president obama is reelected. you could tell that tonight.
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he was into this speech. he talked about what president obama has accomplished, and that we need president obama for four more years. you could feel that. that was in his heart talking tonight and i can tell you, having talked to the president for a lot, president clinton through this, he believed it. he worked hard on tonight. >> have you ever listened to a bill clinton speech and said oh-oh, he might be going too long. >> i don't because i enjoy it. i think one thing you saw president clinton had a great time doing it. >> he speem -- seemed to enjoy it. >> he really enjoyed it. but you don't think it is going long because he kept hitting issue after issue. had people laughing, people almost crying. so he just makes it a great speech. nobody can distill these big issues down and get them into that living room like bill clinton can do. >> there was one issue, we haven't heard on the campaign trail a lot. that he brought up tonight. that was medicaid cuts. has this been an issue he's been trying to get the obama administration to talk about more? >> first when you ask president clinton to give a speech, he is going to talk about what he thinks is important. he's been in contact. he talks about medicaid cuts and this is a big deal for president clinton. these cuts to the people most in
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need in america today. and i think laying it out there the way he did i think was important for the campaign and for the next 60 plus days, i think you'll hear a lot more about it. but medicaid, medicare. he talk about all those issues. very complex issues and distilled it down. and i think you walked away tonight saying bill clinton has a real fondness for president obama, but more importantly, president clinton believes that this nation needs barack obama for four more years. >> is he going to be on the campaign trail? >> he is. >> where does he go next? >> he will do anything the obama campaign asks him to do. if they gave him a schedule tomorrow for the next 65 days, chuck, you know it. >> what three states would you send him to? >> i think clearly, virginia, obviously key. we win ohio, virginia, i feel very good about the 270 electoral votes. but he is very popular in florida. obviously, here, they love him in north carolina. for me, i would do a florida and ohio and a virginia, i think, are very important. >> all right. thank you very much. rachel, right back at you. >> thank you, chuck, i appreciate it. c-span just put out a graphic about the various lengths of different bill clinton speeches at democratic conventions. the longest one was '96. second longest one was 1992. third longest one was tonight.
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but he was close in 2000. he went 40 minutes in 2000. 48 minutes tonight. the substance of what president clinton was talking about tonight was, he was going after the republican critique of president obama. but then he really did a broad-based critique of republican economic policies, contrasting it with his own. his own record. president clinton reminding the world that his administration raised taxes, grew the economy, balanced the budget and made a national surplus over what had been the national debt. actively trying to downer with his own record charging that president obama would damage the economy by getting rid of the bush tax cuts. >> people ask me all the time how we got four surplus budgets
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in a row. what new ideas did we bring to washington. i always give a one-word answer. arithmetic. arithmetic. >> doesn't that word make you want to hear from ezra klein about whatever arithmetic is being applied to? what do you think about the case he made about his own record on the economy and debt and taxes? >> a 48-minute policy speech is sort of speaking my language. when he says arithmetic, he is meaning a particular part of it. what he is there to do, a particular missile for the obama campaign on is the plus sign in arithmetic. his argument is the republicans have before him and after him, they only focus on the minus. they only focus on what you can cut from the budget if they, indeed, do cut that. under his tenure as president, they added taxes. two things happened when that occurred. that are really tough for republicans to explain away.
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one, of course, is that the tax increases helped balance the budget. but the other one, and this is actually a bigger deal, is that we had a fast-growing economy. the years of bill clinton were one of the best economies we've had on record in the 20th century. in fact, if you just generally look at when we have had fast growing economies in american politics, it has been when we've had fairly high marginal tax rates. the lyndon johnson economy, the kennedy economy. we've had tax rates as high as 70, 80, 90% and had much faster growth than under george w. bush when it went down to 35%, the tax rate. that doesn't mean the tax rates lead to that fast growth. what it does mean is they don't derail it and they tend to help with the broad effort of balancing the budget. which, of course, helps to some degree to getting the economy back on track. one more point on what he said. steve schmidt made the point that republicans have not been able to find somebody on their side that is able to construct a speech like this.
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a 45-minute policy speech that makes a detailed, substantive case for their actual record of their policies going forward. what was striking to me about tonight, paul ryan was supposed to be that guy for them. that was how he came up in republican politics. that's what they saw in him. and he wasn't dispatched to do that at the republican national convention. the democratic convention, they've dispatched clinton to do that. and my understanding of obama's speech tomorrow is that it will be very, very policy centric. you've seen a real reliance from policy from the democrats at this convention. it was simply not matched by the republicans. the democrats saw it as an opening they could define what the way forward was. with clinton in particular, they took it.
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>> i think we saw that tonight in both of the big speeches tonight. both from clinton and from elizabeth warren who also did a lot of specific policy talking in her speech while getting a huge response from the crowd. one other thing i wanted to ask you about, ezra, one of the earliest numbered points president clinton made tonight. he did a series of jobs scores. the first he did, he said, since 1961, democrats have held the white house for 24 years and the republicans have held the white house for 28 years. but since 1961, those 52 years all together, our economy produced 66 million private sector jobs. and he said the jobs score on that is that republicans produced 24 million and the democrats produced 42 million. when you hear him make big raw partisan attributions for the jobs numbers, do you think that it is conceivable that those
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numbers are at all attributable to ideological policy choices or are those things defined so much more in the big terms by other factors that you can't really attribute to either party? >> at all attributable, definitely. but i tend to be careful with things like. that i've seen analysis where you say, start the clock a year the president come to office. there's reasons to do that, their policies don't take effect immediately, you don't see the change. it is no doubt the case that the raw number there is correct. but whether or not it is because the democratic presidents have had better luck when they came in in the business cycle because democratic presidents just happened to start the clock at the right moment. that's what makes me a little bit nervous about those numbers. what i think is undeniable here is that there are basic fundamental economic policy measures they have taken that have contributed in important ways to both good economies and balanced budgets. and in particular, the tax side of it that clinton was bringing forward there.
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we have seen and this is undeniable. larger deficits in recent years from republican policies particularly due to the bush tax cuts but also the reagan tax cuts led to large structural deficits. you've seen efforts to get away from that under democratic presidents. and even barack obama, due to the financial crisis, made a point of paying for his health care bill and proposing higher taxes on the rich in order to close the deficit. so that part of it can be attributed to democratic policies. >> so when president clinton said that republican economic policies quadrupled the debt before i took office and doubled it after i left, after he was bragging about turning the deficit into a surplus. that's fiscal policy that he is telling the truth on that you feel less shy about. >> that's true. we got a graph and i showed at this time other day through this layer cake graph where you can see the bush administration. about a quarter of it is attributable to the bush tax cuts. in the next decade, that is going to get even larger. those bush tax cuts keep getting bigger while the wars in iraq and afghanistan do not keep getting larger. we've had about 65% of the democrats we've seen since 2001 have been attributable to the policy changes under george bush. almost all of them policy changes made under george w.
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bush. there is simply no doubt that when you vastly increase spending, hugely cut taxes and do all of that during the expanding economy, when you really should not be running large deficits, that you are not running a particularly fiscally responsible administration. >> damn you, arithmetics and you meddling kids. mitt romney's campaign responded to presidents clinton's speech in a statement. ready? president clinton drew a stark contrast between himself and president obama tonight. bill clinton worked with republicans, balanced the budget and after four years he could say you were better off. barack obama hasn't worked across the aisle. he has barely work with other democrats. and has the worst economic record of any president in modern history. president clinton's speech brought the disappointment and failure of president obama's time in office clearly in focus. that's from ryan williams. who is a romney spokesman. barely worked with other democrats? >> that's obviously a ridiculous and disingenuous statement because it has to be. what are they going to say? >> they didn't filibuster, it's just your imagination. >> here's something that is fascinating. in certain ways they have faced similar trajectories. each came into office, each suffered huge mid-term losses and had to deal with a republican congress. and one of the thing you can say for president barack obama that you cannot say for bill clinton, is that all of the bad stuff that bill clinton did in terms of triangulation far outlasted his administration. i'm talking about the defense of marriage act.
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the effective death penalty act. the deal they cut on immigration. >> can i add the prison litigation reform act. >> also a terrible piece of legislation. don't ask don't tell. all of these things went out into the future after he was there. the best thing he did which was the peace and prosperity which was the balanced budget and the full employment was destroyed and severed almost immediately upon him leaving office. president obama in contrast has cut a lot of deals on budget projections in the future but hasn't signed a piece of legislation that will haunt us 20 years from now in an effort to triangulate with republican congress in the way that bill clinton did. >> i want to get into the roll call. we are getting close to the moment where president obama will officially be nominated again. let's listen. >> at this point for ohio. >> thank you, mississippi.
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mississippi passes to ohio. ohio, you have 191 votes. >> thank you. madam secretary, i'm with th ohio democratic party. ohio, ohio, the battleground state. ohio, the state that elects presidents as we did in 2008. ohio, the home of american heroes and american icons. the home neil armstrong and john glenn. the home of senators sherrod brown and governor ted strickland. and ohio, despite of mitt romney's efforts, the home of the chevy cruz and the chrysler jeep and 850,000 american jobs. ohio, madam secretary, casts all 188 votes for the president and the next president of the united states, barack obama. >> thank you, mr. chairman. ohio casts 188 votes for barack obama.
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♪ ♪ celebrate good times ♪ celebrate good times >> ladies and gentlemen, i have been informed that barack obama is now our party's official nominee for president of the united states of america. congratulations, mr. president. congratulations, america. and on november 6th, we will
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reelect you to lead our nation forward. >> dictated in the constitution, our founding documents, the sound of cool and the gang. now we are over the top. that's exactly right. our sacred honor. kool and the gang celebration and the video screen, the video animation in the jumbo tron there is because we put the president over the top of nominees, excuse me, votes he needs to properly secure the nomination. that's why mississippi is going after ohio even though they had previously been in alphabetical order. mississippi passed so that ohio could have that moment in the spotlight. ohio, obviously, critical swing state in this election and every election. we'll be right back. it is msnbc's live coverage of the democratic national which now officially has a nominee.
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when congressman ryan looked into that tv camera and attacked president obama's medicare savings as, quote, the biggest, coldest power play, i didn't know whether to laugh or cry. because that $716 billion is
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exactly to the dollar the same amount of medicare savings that he has in his own budget. you've got to get one thing, it takes some brass to attack a guy for doing what you did. >> it takes some brass. i will say that was the, how do you say, lol moment of the speech for everybody here in the studio. we're all sort of marveling at president clinton riffing the way he is and taking on this long speech and the obvious joy and confidence with which he was doing it. sort of owning the room that way. when he got to it takes some brass, everybody sort of fell out. chris matthews is in charlotte with his, in his sea of adoring fans.
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chris, what do you think is the important thing that happened tonight? >> do you know what i liked about clinton, he reminded me of the war room in 1992. it was headed by george stephanopoulos. he taught us in that election, you have to punch back immediately. you must engage in combat. that politics is a contact sport if you want to win. if you don't want to win, you let the charges fly. the most important thing he taught obama today, he needs surrogates like clinton. he's got some now. he's got michelle, castro, rahm, he's got chuck schumer out there, a lot of people. he has duval patrick out there. he has a lot of people, perhaps dozens of them that can give speeches that punch back at the
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republicans. it doesn't have to be barack obama out there taking all the hits. he could have a whole team of people. he has to stop using staff. he has to stop using staffers like plouffe and axelrod and those people. he has to start using political principles. i think that's really important. i have somebody yelling back here. i'm be sure if it is positive or negative here. back to you, rachel. >> i'm pretty sure that is david axelrod to you saying he shouldn't be going on national television anymore. >> at a certain point volume trumps point of view. to chris's point about surrogates and what will happen next, it is not just president obama speaking tomorrow night. they've put the president and the vice president on the same night. vice president biden actually got a huge cheer tonight in the hall when president clinton shouted him out on the stimulus in terms of sort of watch dogging the stimulus and making sure that it was something that worked the way it was supposed to work. a big, big crowd response on that. we've seen a lot of joe biden in materials of watching speeches. how effective is he as a surrogate? i will preface the question by saying, i think he is a lot more effective than republicans think he is. republicans make fun of him as if he is an embarrassment. every time he talks i feel like it is more of an asset than a detriment. >> when i went to new hampshire a few months back, the crowd loves him. wherever joe goes, he's a regular joe. he speaks their language. he has good connectivity that people like. all this trumped up activity about him being on the ticket,
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hillary and all this right wing stuff. they know how effective joe biden is. he has been a real good strong, confident voice in the president's ear when it comes to foreign policy. that was one of the reasons why he was put on the ticket. no one right now can argue with the foreign policy success that's president obama has had. so joe biden is solid. i don't think they're going to be holding him back at all. >> the right has caricatured joe biden in a way that they have set expectations very, very low. not just for the speech tomorrow night, which is less important. all eyes will be on the president but particularly for that debate on the right. you saw the glee. i can't wait until paul ryan destroys joe biden. i can't wait for the debate for a lot of reasons. not because i think it will be one-sided. and it is one-sided, it won't be against joe biden. >> i think you will have to really, really hope for that mr. ryan is ready, because mr. ryan
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has had all of this build up. and one, we've seen he is fast and furious with the facts, which joe biden will not let him get away with. and we really have never seen him debate at that level. he is going to no man's land. joe biden has been on that national platform in those national debates before. and if he is not careful, he's going to treat him like, let me teach you, son, how we do this. that could be the worst thing that could happen. or the best thing that could happen, depending on your politics. >> the other big speech tonight and a person who got a big national boost out of an appearance tonight was elizabeth warren. we've got more on that ahead. plus looking ahead to tomorrow. you're watching msnbc's live coverage of the democratic convention. we're still here. stay with us. [ male announcer ] did you know, all those screens are sucking moisture from your eyes, causing irritation and dryness. really? [ male announcer ] revive your eyes with visine®. only visine® has hydroblend to soothe, restore and protect eyes
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republicans say they don't believe in government. sure they do. they believe in government to help themselves and their powerful friends. after all, mitt romney is the guy who said, corporations are people. no, governor romney, corporations are not people. >> elizabeth warren, the democratic candidate for senate in massachusetts gave the other big speech of the night. steve, do you think that was an effective speech?
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do you think it's going to help her in massachusetts? >> i don't know. i think she has her work cut out for her in massachusetts. i think scott brown is a brilliant politician. he is in a democratic state. he is running roughly five points ahead. it's one of the marquee senate races in the country. republicans are counting on a brown victory as part of equation to take a majority control of the senate. it will be a race where there is a lot of outside money in. a lot of outside groups, a lot of focus. obviously, a lot of democrats in massachusetts watching that, i suspect. it was marginally helpful for her but i do think she is the underdog in that race. >> i think she was smart on issues to go after scott brown implicitly on voting against fair pay for women. she hit some of the other issues she has hit him on repeatedly. specifically going after him on the fair pay issue which is something he has not really been
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able to defend. he has come up with great defenses for a lot of other things. on that one, it hits that economic fairness issue in a way i thought was good. >> remembering last week, the republican convention he was doing that interview with andrea mitchell. we haven't seen someone move that fast since muhammad ali in his prime. >> i thought it was a good speech, not great speech. it wasn't a great speech. a good speech. just the tone of it. here we are, we're three and a half years after this massive financial crisis caused by systematic structural deceit, fraud, manipulation and game rigging on wall street. $8 trillion of wealth destroyed. a great decision that is, a great recession ground to dust. the working people of this country, and there is, from that stage, very little in the way of heat or anger about the massive injustice of it all. the injustice that continues to this day. the people still out of work
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because of the malfeasance, incompetence, and fraud from the people on wall street and there was a little bit of a hint. it's remarkable how short our memory is. in this political moment, you would anticipate more of that. >> maybe because he has been moved out of his bank of america stadium would give the democrats reason to talk about that tomorrow. that manmade disaster. i have to thank steve schmidt, al sharpton, ed schultz, chris hayes, lawrence o'donnell, everybody who helped us out tonight. we'll be back tomorrow night for the finale night of the democratic convention. as president obama and vice president biden will each take the stage. chris matthews is now picking up our coverage live from charlotte in just a moment. stay with us.
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